A Roadmap to Double Global Bean Consumption
In its newly launched report, which sets out a strategic roadmap for doubling global bean consumption, Beans is How outlined plans to drive up demand for beans and other pulses by promoting the nutritional and environmental benefits of beans while increasing visibility, accessibility and desirability. The campaign will also work with partners to encourage more farmers to grow beans, particularly new and improved varieties.
As a nutrient-dense food with a low environmental impact, greater levels of bean consumption would increase both the quality and sustainability of Kenyan diets, particularly as demand for protein increases, according to the campaign organisers.
The roadmap includes developing digital campaign efforts to promote recipes and cooking advice by working with food champions, such as chefs and social media influencers. The campaign has designed a “Bean Menu Challenge” to encourage chefs to feature beans more visibly in restaurants.
“This campaign is formulated around a simple ask that has a big impact. Chefs are trusted voices that can influence food trends. If every chef added more beans to their menus or in their products, this would reach millions of people,” said Chef Sam Kass, Founder of TROVE, Beans is How Champion, and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition in the Obama administration.
The campaign is also calling for more supportive efforts to encourage consumption and production, such as subsidies and policies to encourage farmers to grow beans. Integrating beans into agricultural practices reduces the need for synthetic fertilisers as pulses convert atmospheric nitrogen into a plant usable form. They also use less water than many other crops, helping to conserve a vital natural resource.
“Beans have so many benefits, particularly in African countries, where they are mainly grown by women. However, often farmers need access to seeds, to extension and to markets to get benefits to livelihoods and health improvements. This is an opportunity all of us as partners should embrace,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA, former Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit and a Bean Champion.
Beans is How is a coalition of more than 60 partners, including AGRA, The Kraft Heinz Company, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), The Global FoodBanking Network, Google, and the Pan-African Bean Research Alliance (PABRA).