The 2014 edition of Salone del Gusto, a food and biodiversity event organised by the Slow Food movement, officially opened in Turin, Italy, on Thursday.
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Family farming and the Ark of Taste – an initiative to collect all the heritage foods that are ‘endangered’ because of extreme weather or industrial agriculture – are the central themes of the Salone del Gusto Terra Madre, held in Turin.
Thousands of producers, famers and communities will be showcasing their products at the venue, with cooking lessons, conferences and taste workshops taking place to celebrate food biodiversity and heritage.
A dedicated area named the Ark of Taste also hosts over 1,000 grains, fruits, cheeses, legumes, breads, sweets and other foods from across the world threatened by large-scale farming and climate change.
About 3,000 delegates from food communities around the world participated in the opening ceremony on Wednesday.
FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva said during the ceremony, “Through an intense worldwide policy dialogue involving family farmers, governments, UN agencies, research organisations and the private sector, we have debated how to best support family farmers in their huge diversity across the world.
“With an enabling policy environment, family farmers will improve food, nutrition and economic security, and also help to safeguard soil health, restore biodiversity, recycle nutrients, build climate resilience and save precious water.
“Pro-family farming policies will also be win-win if they encompass those that support agroecological practices. We must continue this momentum. Our future depends on equitable, efficient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.”
Speaking to Blue & Green Tomorrow, Morgan Larmer, associate director of strategic initiatives for Slow Food USA, said, “The theme of this year’s Salone del Gusto Terra Madre is one that people do not necessarily associate with American food but as people that live there we know the biodiversity value of the food that is produced in the US by farmers and we are very excited to share our experience with the world.
“There is no doubt that family farms are under threat in the US as they are elsewhere. For us, they are not only part of the agriculture of our country but also a way of change what we eat and how we live, supporting livelihoods in the countryside, sustainable management of land and humane treatment of animals.”
The event will take place in Turin, Italy, from 23 to 27 October. Visitors can buy a one-day ticket in advance for €20 (£16) or a five-day pass for €60 (£47).
Photo: © Slow Food Archive