The Hungarian version of EIT Food Careers Day (CD) was designed to address the above-mentioned challenges. This CD aimed to illuminate the diverse and promising career opportunities within the plant-based food sector. The target audience? Students from the esteemed BKSZC Gundel Károly Hospitality and Tourism Technical School in Budapest. This institution has been a cornerstone of vocational training in the hospitality sector since 2008, renowned for its commitment to providing high-quality vocational education. The CD was a two-day event, with the first day hosted at Gundel School and the second day at The Planteen, a pioneering fully plant-based canteen, café, and catering service provider in Hungary.

Over the course of these two days, students engaged in a variety of activities that exposed them to the world of plant-based cuisine. These activities included a lively plant-based discussion class, a hands-on cooking session led by a plant-based chef, a site visit to The Planteen, and a panel discussion featuring five industry experts. Additionally, short interviews with these experts were conducted to create a video series on plant-based careers, which could be used for future reference and educational purposes. A lesson plan revolving around plant-based diets and careers was also developed to be used by the FoodEducators programme.

The "Plant-based career" video series was created for educational purposes, this video features The Planteen CEO Federika Fait. (Although in Hungarian, you can get a glimpse of what the CD looked like at The Planteen)

Informal evaluations revealed a positive shift in students' perceptions towards plant-based careers, as well as a strong interest from both the school principal and the panelists in continuing and expanding such educational initiatives in the future.

As plant-based cooking and plant-based foods are not included yet in the national curriculum in Hungary, the EIT Food Careers Day was proven to be a unique, much needed experience, kindling a passion for plant-based careers among students, even in a culture deeply rooted in meat-based traditions. This event underscores the importance of integrating plant-based education into the curriculum and nurturing a new generation of leaders who embrace sustainability and health-conscious living. 

Action points to promote plant-based careers in your school:

  • Talk about different diets with your students (you can discuss these from health, environmental, social and economic aspects)
  • Explore the plant-based food industry through already known plant-based products (discuss trends and differences between countries)
  • Discuss plant-based recipes in students' families (it is always good to rely on already existing experiences)
  • Invite industry experts to talk about plant-based careers (eg. invite a vegan chef)
  • Organise a site visit similar to the above CD!