In his first appearance at the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2012, the Traveling Expo in five days has registered 10,000 interested visitors who have known food products, cultural identity and interacted with the protagonists of the 12 territories involved; impossible to know the number of those who have taken only information material or have looked without stopping by but we think there were many of the 220,000 people who visited the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, which this year was dedicaded to the main theme “Food that change the world”, to emphasize the intention of doing politics through food for a “good, clean and fair development”.
The initiative Traveling Expo is part of the Paths of Excellence Project, run by Slow Food in collaboration with the Rural Territorial Development with Cultural Identity Program (DTR-IC in Spanish) of RIMISP - Latin American Center for Rural Development, with the support of the FORD Foundation.
The territories presented in this first Traveling Expo are part of initiatives and projects already active and implemented by Slow Food and the DTR-IC program in these countries:
- Tarija, Bolivia
- Coast of Santa Catarina, Brazil
- Vale do Ribeira, Brazil
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Archipelago of Chiloé, Chile
- Nariño, Colombia
- Cesar, Colombia
- Thrace, Greece
- Chefchaouen, Morocco
- Moche, Peru
- Colca Canyon, Peru
More than 50 protagonists among family farmers, chefs, activists, young local talent, tourism operators, agroecology experts, representatives of donor agencies and international organizations such as IFAD, international consulting firms for sustainable development as COSA - Committee on Sustainability Assessment, civil society associations as APEGA - Peruvian Society of Gastronomy and former government members such as Humberto Oliveira, Secretary for Territorial Development in the president Lula government in Brazil, coming from 10 different countries in Latin America, Europe and Africa not only presented their products, their traditions, their initiatives and experiences but they also had the opportunity to share moments of reflection and exchange of perspectives, knowledge and best practices as part of the workshops program of the Traveling Exhibition, focused on several topics related to local agro-food systems, cultural heritage and sustainable territorial development.
The interdependence between rural, urban and peri-urban areas, a Territorial Corporate Responsibility to link medium and large companies with small-scale entrepreneurs for sustainable territorial development, the quality challenge for family farmers, the valorization of products and services with cultural identity for a sustainable and inclusive access to the market, the integration of traditional local knowledge with scientific knowledge for innovative learning systems, the experience of the Mediterranean Diet and the proposal of the Andean Diet recently launched by APEGA were some of the topics covered in the workshops and conferences organized by the Paths of Excellence Project, in which the Traveling Exhibition is the main initiative.
The following activities have completed the program: tastings of typical food products from all the territories; guided tours of the Expo for students of primary schools of the region Piemonte and for college students as well as gastronomic and tourist entrepreneurs of Latin America, Europe and Africa interested in commercial initiatives; the official conference of presentation of the Project for the Paths of Excellence to the public and the international press; a final workshop / writeshop of self-assessment; strategic meetings among regional players, the extra-territorial guests and the Traveling Expo organizers have been held to develop new future initiatives promoted by Slow Food and the DTR-CI Program at Rimisp.
The Travelng Expo was also an important moment for the founding members of the Biocultural Diversity and Territories Platform. Claudia Ranaboldo, DTR-CI Program Coordinator; Carlos Venegas, director of the organization CET Chiloé; Guillen Calvo, executive director ofthe firm Diversity and Development; Lia Poggio director for Latin America of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity and Maija Peltola, new director of PROCASUR have had the opportunity to meet for coordinating strategic and operational lines for theBC&T Platform.
The organizers considered the 2012 edition of Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, for the first time held together, as a resounding success and a sign that, despite the economic crisis, the public has understood the political importance of the event, the central role of food and agriculture, and the need for a paradigm shift in the food system. More than 16,000 people, both of Terra Madre delegates and the general public, have taken part in 56 conferences organized by Slow Food. In crowded rooms, attended discussions on topics ranging from health and food labeling to water and other social issues, with panels composed of food producers and experts representing food communities and youth around the world. It is hoped that this expression of public forces the industry to look at farmers with greater care and ethical consideration.
In the center of these conferences, and the event in general, were especially young people, as farmers, activists or students. The creative activities organized by the students of the University of Gastronomic Sciences and the "Slow Food Youth Network" managed to engage youth around the world in discussions on sustainable production and consumption.
A central role in the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre also was played by educational activities for children: 3,700 of them took part in games that focused on education for the food and taste, compared with 1,000 participants in 2010. Students from 6,000 schools throughout Italy visited the event. The Master of Food classes, workshops for adults, were equally successful, with tickets sold out before the start of the event, to the point of forcing organizers to add more workshops in the program. A high proportion of tickets, 60%,was sold to visitors from outside Italy.
The Slow Food Convivia producers, the Food Communities of Terra Madre and the exhibitors at the Italian and international markets also expressed satisfaction at the excellent interaction with visitors, who were more curious than ever to know the products, and at the superior level of sales: about a half Convivia products was finished at the end of the fourth day. Another good sign was the large number of great buyers who have visited the event: 350 in the course of five days.
The visitors were very receptive to sustainable initiatives taken by Slow Food for the event, and appreciated the fact that the printed program has been replaced by the special application developed for “Smartphones”. In addition to winning a prize to the best app services in Milan, it was downloaded by 15,000 users, who gave a very positive response.
While it has been the first time the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre were held jointly, this has also been a special year to have coincided in the same weekend with the International Slow Food Congress, attended by 650 delegates from 95 countries. A key event of three days that will define the future of the organization, with outstanding performances of 90 delegates from 51 different countries, sharing their Slow Food own experiences.
Annibale Ferrini, BC&T Platform Web Community Manager
To know more, watch all the pictures and read the participants' comments visit our FB page Plataforma Diversidad Biocultural y Territorios.
Via Plataforma DTR-IC