Friday 21st October 2016                 Change text size:

We Feed the Planet Puts the Spotlight on Small-Scale Producers

We feed the planet

From October 3-6, over 2,500 change makers from 120 countries will be in Milan for Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet* to answer the question raised at Expo 2015: How can we feed the planet in the future? It is essential to include young small-scale farmers in the conversation on the future of food, because they undertake the best practices and have solutions for creating an environmentally sustainable food system and a better future.

Speaking about the event, Slow Food founder and president Carlo Petrini said: “We are bringing them together because we want to make them realize that even if they are in the most remote places, they practice and represent vital political will. With this event we will show them that they are not alone”.

Over the course of four days, they will learn, educate and exchange ideas based on their local experiences with the goal of creating a sustainable global food vision. On the last day, October 6, all 2,500 participants will march through Expo and present their solutions to the question of feeding the planet. This will give them a new lease of life, helping them find new solutions to bring home and implement locally.

Among the small-scale producers at Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet are: Danielle Rodríguez Besosa from Puerto Rico who works as a small-scale farmer, agro-ecological activist and educator. She is also an active member of Puerto Rico’s sustainable farming movement. Another delegate is Muhammad Sekyema from Uganda, a young small-scale farmer who produces a traditional, unique and highly nutritional type of fish, the silver fish, which is found in Lake Victoria. He also coordinates the fishing communities and grounds around Lake Victoria.

Knowledge, practices and visions on the food system will be shared among the 2,500 participants from Brazil, Senegal, South Korea, India, France, Germany, Canada, and South-Africa amongst others. The changemakers represent different geographic backgrounds as well as professions: there will be over 160 chefs, 100 shepherds, 500 farmers, 80 fishermen, 450 students, and 1000 academics and experts. Small-scale fishers, like Jessica Anahì De Francesco, a young fisher from Argentina, and the 27-year-old Spencer Montgomery from the USA will make a special contribution to the conference on ‘Ocean Grabbing and Fisheries’. They will show the importance of taking on this challenge, exposing phenomena, involving citizens, restoring local governance and rebuilding robust links between communities of producers and communities of co-producers by gathering the voices of the youth.

Moreover, a remarkable delegation of young Africans will raise their voices by sharing their experiences during the discussion on Access to Land and Land Grabbing in which Edie Mukiibi, Vice-President of Slow Food International, will be one of the key speakers. Besides Zayaan Khan from Slow Food Youth Network South Africa will host the workshop ‘Women in Agriculture’ on Sunday. She will share powerful stories in a discussion with Dennis Aviles (Sustainable Agriculture and Gender Advisor, Oxfam) to discuss the difficulties women are facing owed to a variety of problems including insufficient power relations.

Indigenous producer of the food product Guarana (Waranà in the indigenous language, meaning “beginning of all knowledge”), Sergio Waranà Sateré Mawé from Brazil (Waranà fair trade Project) will take the lead alongside with Bastien Beaufort, Slow Food Youth Network France and co-founder of the Disco Soup Movement in France, during the conference on Intercultural Gastronomy: Indigenous Seeds, Ingredients and Principles for a Sustainable Future. Open to each and every participant (indigenous and non-indigenous) it will showcase some key, indigenous, traditional products, customary myths, ancestral seeds, ecological knowledge and native food systems. More than a hundred young indigenous delegates, representative of about eighty groups from more than forty countries located in three continents, are expected to attend.

Thanks to the 2,500 young food heroes and keynote contributors Terra Madre Giovani – We Feed the Planet promises to represent an important milestone in fostering international efforts towards a global food policy and local implementations.

The event website offers further details on the event and its program here.

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