Sponsors and financers withdraw.
Organization looking for new approach.
‘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.’
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.’