Food education for children and reliable information on the rules for a healthy, sustainable diet, form an integral part of the Good for You, Good for the Planet Mission. For this reason, Barilla is committed to involving the new generations and its own People in educational and informative activities aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles, balanced dietary habits and responsible food consumption.
The main projects implemented in the course of 2017 include the Giocampus program, the sì.mediterraneo communication plan and the ViviSmart initiative.
2017 saw the continuation of Giocampus, a project aimed at involving young people between the ages of 4 and 14, living in the Parma area, which promotes the wellbeing of future generations by means of a training path that combines dietary education and physical education.
Giocampus was spawned by a public/private educational alliance involving a wide range of organizations operating in the Parma area, including: Comune di Parma, Comune di Sorbolo, Comune di Torrile, Comune di Busseto, Comune di Traversetolo, Comune di Salsomaggiore, Comune di Montechiarugolo, Università di Parma, Cus Parma, Coni Emilia Romagna, Ufficio Scolastico Regionale per l’Emilia Romagna Ufficio XIII Ambito territoriale per la provincia di Parma, Ausl, Federazione Italiana Golf, Barilla, Fondazione Cariparma, Parma Calcio 1913, Studio Cocconi-Face, Flo, Ilger, Chiesi Farmaceutici, X3energy, Impresa Pizzarotti, Perfume Holding, Unione Parmense degli Industriali, Poliambulatorio Dalla Rosa Prati, Davines, CFT, Turbocoating, Iren and Fondazione Teatro Regio.
The activities run by Giocampus are divided into three strands spanning the year:
- Giocampus School: a special course integrated into the school program and aimed at teaching healthy and balanced lifestyles.
- Giocampus Snow: a winter sports week giving children the chance to try a range of winter sports and learn the basic rules of a healthy diet.
- Giocampus Summer: a summer camp offerings kids sport, other physical activities and workshops, as well dietary education.
The project was extended in 2017 with Giocampus Together, a training program focusing on integration and respect for diversity and disability, which involved 50 children over the year. Giocampus Together is founded on the principle that, through physical activity, it is possible to include all kids and the full diversity of their abilities.
Giocampus has expanded its operations considerably over the years, with a view to involving more and more children, and broadening its coverage and sphere of influence in the area. Attendance reached 15,000 in 2017.
Barilla's focus on dietary education does not only concern the new generations, but also includes everyone who works for the Group. For this reason, the Group implemented a project called sì.mediterraneo over the course of the year.
Deriving from Barilla's partnership with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the Federico II University of Naples and with the contribution of the Barilla Nutrition Advisory Board, the initiative is designed to raise employees' awareness of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and to improve their dietary habits on a daily basis.
sì.mediterraneo involved over 7,300 employees in 15 countries in which the Group operates
Under the sì.mediterraneo project, Barilla develops environmentally sustainable and nutritionally balanced menus for its People, which are available every day in all company restaurants. All the menus comprise wholegrain bread and pasta, a wide range of cereals, vegetarian salads and legumes, fish dishes and reduced amounts of red meat and fried foods.
In response to this initiative, Barilla has witnessed growing interest among employees in more balanced diets, marked by a significant increase in the consumption of products comprising wholegrain ingredients and white meats, and a substantial reduction in orders for red meat.
Barilla's sì.mediterraneo project also provides access to numerous studies and research projects on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and guidance on formulating healthy and balanced diets.
The results of experiments conducted in canteens in Parma have been published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition under the title "Nutritional intervention program at a worksite canteen to promote a healthful inspired by the traditional Mediterranean diet" (M. Vital et al.).
During 2017, the sì.mediterraneo initiative also involved the vending machines in the Parma offices, so as to promote healthy, informed choices during breaks too. With regard to the consumption of sweet and savory snacks, consumption of more nutritionally balanced options had risen by 20% 3 months after the start of the initiative, at the expense of less healthy options, which fell by 20%.
THE COSTA CROCIERE KIDS MENU
Effective dietary education also depends on spreading healthy nutritional habits among the new generations.
Working in partnership with Costa Crociere and Madegus, a spin-off of the University of Parma, Barilla developed the new Costa Crociere Kids Menu, with a view to involving and educating children on the benefits of a healthy diet, in a fun way.
The project has led to the creation of 7 new balanced menus for children aged between 4 and 12, which are inspired by the Mediterranean diet, tasty and appetizing, and at the same time rich in fruit and vegetables. The new menus will be served at every meal on-board Costa Crociere's ships, as an alternative to the traditional menus. To encourage the involvement of younger children, each menu is accompanied by a card game and an educational story about the benefits of a healthy diet.
The first phase of the project involved the crew of two ships from the Costa Crociere fleet, who received specific training from Madegus's specialist dietary education professionals. During the course of next year, the Kids menu will be made available to all the other ships in the Costa Crociere fleet.
In 2017, the Barilla Group took part in developing the "ViviSmart" project, a partnership encompassing Barilla, Danone Italia and Coop Italia with their respective Foundations, and the collaboration of major organizations from the food industry and the world of consumer cooperatives, non-profit organizations and scientific research bodies.
The aim of the initiative was to promote the adoption of smart lifestyles, comprising informed nutritional choices, aligned with the Mediterranean model and the food pyramid.
Based on an innovative, multi-pronged approach deployed in 16 selected retail stores and 16 primary schools, ViviSmart involved Italian families in a daily routine that combines healthy eating with physical exercise. On the one hand, people got a chance to learn how to target their food choices, by finding our more about the associated nutritional properties; and on the other hand, they were able to get involved in physical activities, by following a few simple rules.
The first phase of the ViviSmart project focused on the cities of Milan, Genoa, Parma and Bari, and involved over two and a half million citizens.