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BCFN Foundation

The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFN) is a multi-disciplinary think tank that works on the big issues of food and nutrition. 

The Foundation is committed to promoting a change towards more sustainable food systems through research, support and communication devoted to achieving the goals set by the United Nations' Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.

To this extent, BCFN encourages an open dialog across Science, Politics, Business and Society and develops research projects whose objective is to create a world where food is produced and consumed within a framework of sustainable development, benefiting both current and future generations.

The research carried out by BCFN deals with the issues of food and environmental sustainability, under a range of perspectives. Therefore, food is considered in terms of accessibility and food safety, taking into account all implications linked to social, cultural and production factors.

The Foundation is also committed to attracting the best talents among young food researchers: since 2012, it has been promoting the BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) contest, which rewards the best research projects with a sustainable approach to the agro-food industry.

The finalists of the contest in recent years have set up the BCFN Alumni international network, which sees them directly involved in the Foundation’s projects and their dissemination worldwide.


The BCFN Forum is the annual international event that uses dialog and networking to find practical solutions to the challenges related to the current food system.

During the eight edition of the Forum, policy makers, the scientific community, private sector and civil society met for two days debating the issues of food security, climate change, and migrations, as well as discussing national and urban sustainable food systems and the reformed European agricultural scenario.

During the event, all participants were invited to contribute to the debate and interact with the experts in six parallel sessions:

1. The Food Sustainability Index: The Mediterranean Area – Exchange of Knowledge and Solutions

This session presented the main results of the new edition of the Food Sustainability Index (co-developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and BCFN), with a special focus on the countries of the Mediterranean region.

2. Food Systems and Health: which challenges and impacts for Change 

An in-depth session on the fundamental relation between food and wellbeing. The current global food system has a number of negative effects on health and wellbeing, in terms of unsafe foods, chronic disease, environment exploitation, and the panel provided scientific evidence of the health costs of the global food system.

3. Urban Sustainable Food Systems: Exchange of Knowledge and Solutions in the Mediterranean Area

Cities play a key role in the fight against climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk. This session highlighted the way improving urban food systems will help balance the economic, social and environmental conditions, using the Mediterranean region as a model for solutions to put in practice.

4. Research and innovation in Food Systems

This session explored the future of innovation in the food system and the key ideas that are likely to shape our Planet, in terms of sustainable agriculture, food safety and availability of healthy foods. Efficient agricultural research and innovative systems can ensure access to sufficient supplies of nutritious and quality foods.

5. Climate change, food security and migrations. Which perspectives?

A session of geo-political analysis of migrations and food in areas that are currently dealing with vast migration flows, like the Mediterranean area. The overarching objective of this session was to gain a greater understanding of the link between climate change, food safety and migration.

6. The Common Agricultural Policy as an opportunity for more sustainable food systems

Since its inception, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shaped our food system, our agriculture and the rural areas of Europe. Today, the actors dealing with the challenges of agricultural and food sustainability all agree that European policy needs to change in order to facilitate a more integrated approach for a healthier agriculture in the future, able to minimize negative externalities.


Food and migrations - Understanding the geo-political nexus in the Mediterranean area 

MacroGeo and the BCFN Foundation carried out a research on the geo-political impact of food and migration in the Euro-Mediterranean area, whose results are reported in the Food and Migration report. The report innovatively combines geo-political analysis (resources, migration flows and paths) with the analysis of food and nutrition, through a number of diverse essays.

Fixing Food - The Mediterranean Region

Released together with the second edition of the Food Sustainability Index, developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit and BCFN, the paper Fixing Food: The Mediterranean Region investigates the issue of food sustainability in the Mediterranean context, with reference to the social, economic and environmental challenges affecting the region.