Organisation - September 26, 2013

Food4You on short rations

Sponsors and financers withdraw.
Organization looking for new approach.

Food4You is not thriving. Since 2008 this annual event aims to pass on knowledge about food to a broad general audience. Shortage of funding is making it more and more difficult to fulfill this task. Last year town councils and sponsors began to withdraw due to shortage of funds and the festival was cut down from 15 to 5 days. This year it is going to be even harder.
‘There just isn’t any money,’ says organizer Elisa Salentijn. For example, this year Food4You qualified for very little funding from the province of Gelderland, which contributed 200,000 euros last year. Another major sponsor, health insurance company VGZ, dropped out too. ‘It has become more difficult to find sponsors in the last couple of years anyway,’ says Salentijn. ‘It is to do with the recession, and the fact that the festival stayed too regional, too local. That just doesn’t interest big sponsors.’
New approach
So Food4You will have to make do with a ‘minimal’ version this year, without the symposium or the public day. The Food Professional Day, organized by the RijnIJssel vocational college, will still be held (30 October), as will the Children’s University. This cuts the festival down to just one day. The university’s contribution is negligible.

The organization is pondering a new approach for the future. Salentijn: ‘We noticed last year that the current concept for the public day, for instance, doesn’t work anymore.’ She would therefore like to work with the World Food Centre (WFC), which is supposedly going up in Ede. However, a feasibility study on the WFC is still in progress. So although this year’s mini-version may just be a one-off, if the WFC is scrapped, that could spell the end for Food4You. But it’s too early to speculate on that, says Salentijn. ‘We don’t know yet.’