The great international event dedicated to good, clean and fair food finished today by reaffirming the commitment of the 7,000 Slow Food delegates from 150 countries to change the global food system by continuing their work once they return to their communities. In particular, the global awareness-raising campaign on food and climate change was launched in Turin.
Climate change is an urgent, global issue that has an impact on all of the communities of producers who attended Terra Madre Salone del Gusto: Their numerous testimonies on the great difficulties that they encounter daily—in addition to the major disasters that are becoming more frequent – makes this clear. From Kenyan pastoralists to the Sámi people in Sweden, and from Mediterranean fishers to Andean farmers, those who work closely with nature can see the consequences of, as Indian writer Amitav Ghosh said in a conference, the “greatest challenge ever faced by humanity.”
In the coming months, Slow Food communities will rally around the messages that their representatives at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto highlighted during these five days, celebrating the relationships that form when people share values based on a love of food and the earth.
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is a place where household cooks and starred chefs from may countries stand side by side; where cultural differences are transcended; where ideologies and rivalries are overcome; where, for example, Lebanese and Israeli cooks share the Terra Madre kitchen space and exchange advice and a Finnish chef of Filipino origin creates enticing culinary fusions. Russian cooks presented in 33 forums and Taste Workshops and several countries, such as Georgia, exhibited their agricultural and gastronomic diversity for the first time, with support from their respective Agriculture Ministries.
The Forums and conferences were well attended; experts, visitors, and delegates all contributed stimulating ideas, confirming once again that this event is a wellspring of projects for change. Connections between the different geographical areas are becoming ever stronger and there are many events planned for the immediate future: There will be new editions of Terra Madre Nordic Countries (Greenland was present for the first time at this 12th edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto) and Terra Madre Brazil (in Bahia); and in Latin America, the Finca Slow network is forming in Cuba and Colombia, bringing together agroecological farms. The large Haitian delegation and producers from the new Presidia in Yucatan are returning home with great enthusiasm. A sustainable tourism project linked to food has been launched in Azerbaijan, while the Austrian region of Carinthia, where Slow Travel has been active for a couple of years, was able to share extremely positive results with the public.
Many important chefs, including Matteo Baronetto Del Cambio restaurant in Turin, who spoke at the closing press conference, declared their commitment to recovering local products, sourcing from small producers, and working in schools to educate young people about healthy food. The Food for Change campaign will begin with these chefs: With their important role as public figures, they have a great responsibility and can make the difference in creating awareness.
Slow Food believes that is it of the utmost importance to raise awareness about climate change, which is a reality that humanity is already facing today, even though many are not willing to admit the urgency of the situation.
Richard McCarthy, executive director of Slow Food USA, emphasized that, as Terra Madre Salone del Gusto comes to a close, work will begin to raise awareness through two months of intense commitment, by the whole Slow Food network, in fighting against climate change. Food For Change is a call to action and an invitation to “slow foodies” all over the world to take up a specific challenge between October 16 and 22: For a week, you can choose to cook using only local ingredients, to not eat meat, or to reduce food waste to zero—even better, you can commit to all three of these initiatives.
Based on the number of people participating in these challenges, in collaboration with Indaco2 (INDicatori Ambientali e CO2, or “environmental INDicators and CO2,” a spin-off of the University of Siena) we can estimate how much CO2 eq. has been saved thanks to our collective commitment.
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is an event organized by the City of Turin, Slow Food, and the Region of Piedmont in collaboration with MIPAAF (Italy’s Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies). It has been made possible thanks to its many sponsors, including the Official Partners, GLEvents-Lingotto Fiere, IREN, Lavazza, Lurisia, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino and Quality Beer Academy; with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT-Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Associazione delle Fondazioni di Origine Bancaria del Piemonte, and Coldiretti; and with the contribution of IFAD, the European Union, and CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori).
Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers, and academics in over 160 countries.