Slow Food at Rio+20

The Slow Food International association will be playing an active part in the upcoming Rio+20 Conference to raise awareness of the global impact of food production on climate change and sustainable development. Slow Food believes that the current food system has played a significant role in jeopardizing the health of the earth and its inhabitants. Terra Madre*, a worldwide network of small-scale farmers, fishers, artisans, students, chefs and experts present in 150 countries and launched by Slow Food, has demonstrated that small-scale production can represent a viable alternative on a global scale.

Slow Food president Carlo Petrini has been invited by the Brazilian government to participate in the Sustainable Development Dialogue on Food and Nutrition Security, one of ten Dialogues taking place immediately prior to the Summit from June 16-19. The outcomes of these sessions will then be reported to the high-level round tables of the Rio Summit.

The Slow Food program of side-events held in the lead-up and during the Summit will invite locals and visitors to participate in educational activities – such as workshops and visits to organic farmers markets – to raise awareness on the central role of food in sustainable development.

Slow Food is also publishing a guide with 100 tips on ‘good, clean and fair food’ that will help both Rio’s inhabitants and the thousands of visitors to the Summit discover local foods, restaurants and projects. The guide provides suggestions on where to eat or buy locally sourced foods and discover the many urban agriculture projects which are growing around the vibrant city.

“The 1992 UN Conference in Rio de Janeiro was a truly historical moment, finally bringing sustainable development to the attention of the whole world,” says Slow Food President Carlo Petrini. “Twenty years have passed, and we have not yet made enough progress to meet the challenges that had been set out. My hope is that Rio+20 will send out a strong message of unity, where we acknowledge our responsibilities as citizens of the world and where we commit ourselves to being an active part in solving the problems that are affecting the earth and the global community as a whole.”

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development  – Rio+20, will be taking place from June 20-22, two decades after the landmark United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development. Around 100 heads of state and government along with 50,000 delegates will take part in an event that will define the future of our environment and the livelihood of millions of people around the world.

Slow Food has been present in Brazil since 2002 and now counts 32 convivia and over 40,000 producers involved in the network. 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. It counts 100,000 members world wide, hundreds of convivia (local chapters) and Terra Madre communities in over 150 countries.

*Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto will take place on October 25-29, 2012 in Turin, Italy. The international world meeting will be displaying the extraordinary diversity of food from all continents and uniting small-scale farmers and artisans from around the world who follow the principles of good, clean and fair production.

 The Terra Madre program includes a biennial world meeting, regional/national meetings, a global day of action, and a network of international projects that involve all stakeholders in the food system. It represents positive globalization and gives a voice to those who refuse to surrender to an industrial approach to agriculture and the standardization of food cultures.

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