Press Releases and Statements

Food For Life. The World Food Programme

Benetton communication campaign for 2003 focuses on food, which can mean health, education, liberation, work, peace and hope for the future

Ponzano, 13th February, 2003 – The global communication campaign for 2003, co-developed by United Colors of Benetton and the World Food Programme, the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger, re-establishes hunger as the world’s most fundamental problem, since it is largely overlooked by both media and public opinion.

The images, taken by James Mollison, Fabrica’s young photographer, in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, show crisis and poverty. They demonstrate how food becomes a catalyst for reconciliation and development, a tool capable of revolutionising the lives of hungry individuals.

“The problem of hunger can be solved because the world produces enough food to feed everyone,” says James T. Morris, WFP Executive Director. “Yet a person dies of hunger or its related causes every five seconds. As we see a surge in the numbers of people on the brink of starvation, we need to draw attention in every way we can to prevent this terrible tragedy from continuing. We hope this initiative will form the basis of a substantive public discussion about hunger and put it back at the top of the international agenda where it belongs,” Morris added.

“We chose to work with WFP because we share their commitment and their tangible initiatives. We are supporting them just as we have supported other humanitarian organisations in the past ” with a campaign in which we believe absolutely because it encompasses a number of social issues ” war, disease, marginalisation which we have already addressed in our previous communication projects,” said Luciano Benetton.

Setting the scene is the symbol of the Food for Life campaign: a man with a mutilated arm, whose metal prosthesis is a spoon. Other images (on billboards and in newspapers all over the world) tell true, individual stories – of women, children and men – whose only chances of escaping violence, marginalisation and poverty depend on them finding food.

In Sierra Leone, for example, former soldiers from the various factions receive food if they renounce their weapons; they are trained in jobs so they no longer have to fight. In Afghanistan, women are paid in food rations for work which sustains them; they are encouraged to become involved and to rebuild their lives. Of major importance is the school feeding programme, under which WFP provides hot meals and nourishing snacks as an incentive to children to go to school and receive an education. Food aid thus becomes “Food for peace”, “Food for work”, “Food to go home”, “Food for education” and “Food for protection”. Far from creating dependence, it helps create new possibilities for building self reliance in the lives of those who receive it.

All the stories and themes of the WFP-United Colors of Benetton 2003 Campaign are gathered together and developed in a special supplement to Colors 54 Food entitled “Hunger”.

Benetton is investing more than 15 million euro in over 30 countries for its 2003 campaign. This is part of a wider communication project on food, conceived and produced by Fabrica, including two other initiatives. Colors 54 Food presents the dietary habits, the rites and time devoted to eating, drinking and preparing food in various parts of the world (with a supplement developing the 2003 United Colors of Benetton campaign). Food – as a means of communication, artistic expression and design – is the subject of a book entitled 2398 g (the actual weight of the book itself) produced by Fabrica and published by Electa. Young artists from the Benetton centre, together with others of international acclaim, were invited to represent food, each in their own personal way – as a fetish, ritual, excess, dependence, celebration, emotion, reflection, contradiction, oppression and obsession.


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