Food Dialogues 2022

Diverse voices in an inclusive dialogue to foster a healthier, more resilient and just food system.

Food Dialogues 2022

Food Dialogues 2022, taking place from 18 July to 1 August, marked a return to in-person events, raising challenging questions about digital technologies disrupting our food system, the impact of cultured meat, and the ways food has shaped the spaces and places that define our city. Events considered our present day societal relationship with food by looking at key aspects of our food system – where we buy our food from and how nourished we are from the food we eat – as well as how we can better partner to govern our food system, and how the medium of food itself can bring us insight, connection and joy.

The 2022 event programme saw several new forms of engagement introduced, including an arts exhibition, walking tours, volunteer activities, and participatory culinary experiences in addition to workshops and deep-dive conference formats. It offered 37 featured contributors in 13 events over 14 days at venues across the breadth of Cape Town, from the V&A Waterfront to Philippi, and was made possible through collaboration with 10 sponsor and partner organisations, 25 different SMMEs, two universities, and Provincial as well as City government.

The programme engaged over 600 people across the city, from ticket holders and service provider staff to speakers and panellists, drivers and designers. The Food Shopping Futures mini-conference saw some 23 food sector organisations participate, from big food retail and distribution entities, through informal trade associations, meat analogue companies and farmers markets. In total, attendees engaged through the live events for more than 1200 hours.

In the lead-up and during the event itself, awareness and attention was evident on Food Dialogues, its themes and on food systems generally, through 41 stories appearing in 30 media outlets (online, TV and radio broadcast, print). Coverage spanned from major national daily and weekly press and broadcasters to community radio and newspapers. The total audience for this coverage was 26 million readers, listeners and viewers, while social media platforms reached an additional 82 266 users.

Some R185 000 was injected into SMMEs in and around Philippi, including tent hire, security, caterers, farmers, transport companies, and personnel; the single biggest financial value transfer of the Food Dialogues going to the most marginalised part of the city.

The fabric of food system role-players was diversified and strengthened, with many of the participants and partners citing new and intensified relationships as a consequence of the events, across and within communities, sectors and institutions, from residents of informal settlements to the mayor to leaders of major corporates, international tourists and more.

Food Dialogues 2022 was hosted by the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust with co-host and sponsor SOLVE@Waterfront and co-sponsored by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security. Partners included the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership, African Centre for Cities, the Southern Africa Food Lab, The Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Bertha House, Philippi Village, City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government and Derrick Integrated Communications.

Meet the speakers, chefs, moderators, facilitators and others who were part of Food Dialogues 2022, and learn more about the Food Dialogues, including our partners.

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