An Ever-Stronger Connection

At Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, the already fruitful relationship between Slow Food and the European Commission was further consolidated. The two exhibition areas of the Agriculture and Rural development Directorate-General and the Health and Consumers Directorate-General at the Oval hall involved hundreds of people through discussions, games for children and small events, while some officials participated in the conferences organized by Slow Food. The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş took part in the 4th Slow Food International Congress – which took place at the same time as Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre – and made an opening speech.

At the conference 400 Presidia: A New Model for Agriculture? Pia Bucella, from the Environment Directorate-General, praised the agricultural model promoted by Slow Food Presidia as a good practice to be spread. Other officials from the Environment, Health and Consumers and Development and Cooperation Directorates-General participated in the discussions on landscape protection, the future of cooperation for development, responsible consumption and climate change.

On the topic of animal welfare, Andrea Gavinelli from the Health and Consumers Directorate-General expressed another positive opinion on Slow Food Presidia: «We must profit from what we have already experimented with Presidia and promote other experiences which go in the same direction, especially in those countries which are now beginning to work towards sustainability».

These are all key and non-renounceable topics, which are at the heart of the Slow Food commitment and of European policies. Hannes Lorenzen from ARC2020 – with which Slow Food has much cooperated with in the past two years to follow the CAP review process – described the importance of the connection between European policies and local projects as follows: “It may sound paradoxical, but it is true: what we have shared here at Terra Madre, what we want to preserve, the treasures of taste, will only survive if we change European policies now. We need more equity and more focus on simple things: crop rotation, the safeguard of seeds, pastures for animals, small-scale local agricultural systems. In other words, we need all that is an added value for our common Europe”.

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