Food Solutions Challenge

Host a local event and enter a case competition that challenges you to reduce food loss in sub-Saharan Africa by addressing one of the region’s most pressing problems: the lack of a reliable cold storage supply chain. Produce and seeds often require cold storage to prevent postharvest loss. The lack of reliable and adequate cold storage supply chains in sub-Saharan Africa is a main cause of the 40-50% of produce that goes bad before being consumed. For those who have access, the most commonly used refrigerants have serious negative consequences for the environment.

At events held around the world, we challenge bright minds to create climate-friendly cold storage solutions to reduce food loss in sub-Saharan Africa that will increase the amount of edible food while producing less climate changing emissions. 
Submitted solutions will be judged and the top teams will travel to an event in Spring 2019 where they will expand their knowledge and skills on these critical issues. The top team will win $10,000 in seed funding to turn their ideas into action

Supported by BayerClosedIndividualGlobalEvent stipend, toolkit, prizes for top teams
  • Individuals in any geographic location
  • Students and professionals are welcome
  • Must be able to host a 90 minute event that engages at least 25 people
  • $125 hosting stipend
  • Event-in-a-box toolkit and event materials
  • 100 Gold status points for Net Impact Chapters which host an event
  • The top teams will attend a customized prize trip in Spring 2019
  • $10,000 grand prize, $2,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place
  • Entry into a raffle for an iPad for recruiting 25 participants to your event
  • Entry into a raffle to win an iPad, cash, and Beats headphones for each participant at your event
  • Successful event hosts should look to commit 12-14 hours leading up to the event. The event itself will be approximately 90 minutes.
  • Pre-Event 
    • Secure a date and space for your event
    • Attend a 101 webinar from Net Impact Central to help you get started
    • Review the event toolkit
    • Identify 1-2 facilitators for the event
    • Recruit 25 participants to your event
  • November 2018 – April 2019: Host your event
  • April 2019: Deadline to submit solutions
  • Late Spring 2019
    • Top teams are selected and attend a prize trip to develop their skills and knowledge on food and sustainability 
    • Winners announced

What is my role?

Your role is to plan, market, and host a Food Solutions event. To do this, you will attend a 1-hour 101 webinar with Net Impact staff who will walk you through all of the event materials and ensure you are prepared to host a successful event.

What is the facilitator’s role?

Facilitators will lead the event and support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. The facilitator can be you (the event host), a team member, faculty, or another individual. The facilitator does not need to be a subject matter expert as Net Impact will provide you with all of the event materials.

What is the event format?

Participants will learn about the agricultural supply chain in sub-Saharan Africa and why the lack of cold storage is a pressing issue that needs to be solved. Facilitators will present a ~30 minute presentation provided by Net Impact. After the presentation, participants will have ~60 minutes to work in small groups to ideate a solution that will solve the Challenge question. Participants will then submit their ideas into the Food Solutions Challenge and be in the running for the grand prizes.

What are the solutions and how will they be judged?

Solutions should be 500 words or less and turned in via the Net Impact website. Solutions will be judged according to a rubric that will be made available with the event materials.

Do I have to host or attend a Food Solutions event to participate?

The short answer is yes! You have to either attend a live event or one of a few select webinars to be eligible to participate. For more information on upcoming webinars, please email

Students and professionals worldwideDeadline to apply to host an event: March, 2019Open to AllThe Food Solutions Challenge is supported by Bayer.Bayer Logo