A diverse array of food-related businesses attended a dialogue on climate-friendly food systems and entrepreneurship hosted by SLYCAN Trust,through its EthicalX: Climate & Innovation Hub initiative, on 22 August.
Aimed at supporting entrepreneurial practices focused on ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship in food systems and plant-based food production, the ‘Dialogue on Food Entrepreneurship’ took place at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.
Importance of food entrepreneurship
Opening the proceedings, SLYCAN Trust Executive Director Vositha Wijenayake spoke on the importance of food systems in climate-resilience building, and achieving sustainable development.
“Food systems play a key role in addressing climate change and they are also amongst the most vulnerable to climate impacts. Ethical, sustainable,and climate-friendly entrepreneurship can play a key role in taking steps towards scaling up climate action, amongst which is the role of plant-based food choices. Food entrepreneurship could be a champion in climate action,through climate-friendly approaches which will scale up ambition, as well as contribute to economic empowerment through livelihood generation,” she explained.
SLYCAN Trust works on food systems in the areas of risk management in food systems, plant-based food systems and alternative proteins, and food system entrepreneurship.
Fostering partnerships for impact
SLYCAN Trust Director of Research & Knowledge Management Dennis Mombauer highlighted the organisation’s key areas of work related to food entrepreneurship.
“SLYCAN Trust works to support a transition to ethical,sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship, while ensuring that no one is left behind. We’re fostering partnerships and collaborations to drive positive impacts that benefit humans, animals, and the environment. Amongst key areas of focus are climate risk management; plant-based protein and climate-friendly food related activities; and EthicalX initiative, which focuses on supporting ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship related activities at local, national, and global level,” he said.
Why plant-based entrepreneurship?
During the open dialogue and information sharing session, one of EthicalX’s early cohort members, Dinali Dandeniya, representing Mama D’s Vegan and Café Kumbuk, shared her thoughts as a plant-based food entrepreneur.
“I have been predominantly vegetarian for most of my life. I’ve been interested in plant-based entrepreneurship as the Co-Founder of Café Kumbuk, as well my own initiative – Mama D’s Vegan. Customer demand, along with contributing to planetary health, are key factors for engaging in plant-based entrepreneurship,” she pointed out.
The event was followed by a networking session which facilitated further engagement and knowledge sharing amongst the participating food enterprises, to share good practices, possible collaborations, and ways in which to move forward.
A total of 40 food brands and hospitality entities contributed to the ‘Dialogue on Food Entrepreneurship’.
The event will be followed up with the ‘Global Research Dialogue on Climate-friendly Food Systems,’ which is focused on plant-based proteins,plant-based entrepreneurship in food systems, climate-friendly and resilient plant-based agriculture, partnerships for just transition and scaling up plant-based food systems, and sustainable lifestyles with plant-based food choices.
Additionally, the event will share information on engaging with the food systems cohort of EthicalX and capacity-building and technical support provision under the initiative.
This event also aims to facilitate building partnerships that will lead to building long-term climate resilience,sustainable development, and climate-friendly inclusive and participatory economic empowerment.
SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank working on climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity and eco- system conservation, animal welfare, and social justice including gender and youth empowerment. Our work spans the national, regional, and global level from policy analysis and evidence-based research to implementation on the ground across Asia and Africa.
EthicalX: Climate &Innovation Hub aims to support ethical,sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship through activities related to capacity-building, provision of technical support and expertise, and raising seed funding with a special focus on vulnerable communities, women, and youth. EthicalX works towards building long-term climate resilience, sustainable development, and economic empowerment to scale up entrepreneurship development and support vulnerable communities, women, and youth.
SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.