The Prosperity of West Africa’s Food Biodiversity will be Featured at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

The African continent will be very well represented during this 12th edition of the world’s most important international event dedicated to food culture, and some extraordinary stories will be shared with the public. Organized by Slow Food in collaboration with the Region of Piedmont and the City of Turin, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto will take place from September 20 to 24, 2018, in Turin, Italy. Over 5,000 delegates from 140 countries, over 800 exhibitors, 300 Slow Food Presidia, and 500 Terra Madre food communities are taking part in the event.

The International Market, located in the Lingotto Fiere and Oval, will host a special area dedicated to Terra Madre food communities and Presidia products from across Africa.

Burkina Faso, home to over 60 ethnic groups, and a very active Slow Food network, hosted the first West African Terra Madre in February 2017 and will send a group of 25 delegates to Turin in September. Among them will be Jean Marie Koalga, member of the International Council. Speaking about Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, he says, « I am extremely proud to be part of the international network that is Slow Food, and to represent a delegation that will take part in Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018. Food for change is the theme of this 12th edition and I am sure that, through exchange and dialogue with people who differ in culture, language, and customs, every one of us will return home richer and with new enthusiasm for pursuing our activities and striving for a better future for our planet. »

Both of Burkina Faso’s Slow Food Presidia Comoé Red Rice, and Arbollé Yam, a popular tuber in the region – will be represented within the International Market. Red rice will also be the protagonist of the Taste Workshop Red Rice: From Burkina Faso to Piedmont (September 21 at 5:30 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere), during which two rice varieties from different corners of the globe will be compared.

Representing Cape Verde, will be the Planalto Norte Raw Milk Goat Cheeses Presidium. During Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, Maduino Morais Lima and Marciano Antonio Guilherme, representatives of a small group of goat herders who live in the mountainous, dry, almost uninhabited plateau of Planalto Norte, will tell us about the strong relationship between people and animals, highlighting a stunning example of how people have adapted to difficult environmental conditions through making different types of raw milk goat cheese. On the theme of pastoralism, the Terra Madre Forum Resistant Sheperds will take place on September 22 at 11:00 a.m. at Torino Lingotto Fiere.

From Senegal we are excited to introduce the well-known chef, award-winning author and activist Pierre Thiam. He has recently been described as “the king of the new African cuisine” due to his contemporary interpretations of ethnic flavors. There will be two occasions to meet him during Terra Madre Salone del Gusto:

  • On September 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Torino Lingotto Fiere in the Taste Workshop Senegal: Pierre Thiam and Resource Trees’, during which he will explore ingredients obtained from two ‘resource trees’, that are particularly close to his heart, the moringa and the baobab.
  • On September 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Torino Lingotto Fiere in the Taste Workshop Senegal: Pierre Thiam and the Forgotten Cereals, in which he will explore one of the issues about which he is most passionate, the recovery of the forgotten cereals of the Sahel, such as fonio and millet.

The American-born visual artist Muhsana Ali will be attending Terra Madre Salone del Gusto as well. She now resides in Senegal where she fights for sustainable fishing: With her husband, she started a project in the city of M’bour that aims to raise awareness about marine resources. Making use of waste materials from the sea, she produces mosaic murals, outdoor sculptures, and other work of art. To discover more on this theme, it will take place the Terra Madre Forum The Art, Music, Cuisine and Poetry allied with the Sea (September 20 at 4:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) within the Slow Fish thematic area.

The Wild Palm Oil Presidium from Guinea-Bissau will be at the International Market, and producer Leandro Pinto Junior will take part in the Terra Madre Forum Nuts and Oil Seeds (September 20 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere).

From Mali, we are glad to welcome chef Ibrahim Tounkara of “Le Bafing” restaurant in Bamako. Despite the difficult situation that Mali currently faces, chef Tounkara brings people together over dishes prepared with Presidia products and helps to spread the Slow Food philosophy.

Another inspiring story comes from Togo, where, in 2013, six young Togolese set up the Choco Togo cooperative to produce the first 100% Togolese chocolate. After training in the Sicilian town of Modica, world famous for its chocolate, they continued their work in their home country, giving a new boost to the local cacao sector. Now, they work directly with organic and fair-trade cacao producers in Kpalimé and sell their chocolate on the local market. With the aim of adding value to local biodiversity, the producers are reviving local cacao varieties. A “cacao trail” has been set up, to encourage fair-trade tourism. Gambah Kpante is the leader and she and her team will come to Turin with some chocolate for the public to taste.

The Ghanaian delegation will be composed of 11 people whom will be representatives of various Slow Food convivia and gardens from 10,000 Gardens in Africa project, activists in the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN), and the UN worker-turned-chef Selassie Atadika who, together with two other chefs, will cook some typical dishes from their country in the Terra Madre Kitchens. Augustine Yawson, agronomist and educator for the 10,000 Gardens project, will take part in the Terra Madre Forum The Art and Practice of Saving Seeds (September 21 at 4:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere). Gibson Mlorfe, a young woman from the SFYN network in Ghana will be one of the speakers involved in the Workshop How To: Food Film Festival (September 23 at 12:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere), sharing her experience organizing evenings that engage the community through food and film.

Benin is doing a lot of work to conserve biodiversity and endangered species. A group of about ten delegates will be in Turin and will speak at the Terra Madre Forum Seed Biodiversity As A Response To Climate Change (September 23 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere).

For the first time, a group of about 15 delegates from the Ivory Coast will come to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto and will be present at the International Market, located in the Lingotto Fiere and Oval, with a dedicated stand showcasing their products. Members of the Alépé Cacao and Chocolate Producers community will also be there.

A small group of people will come from Nigeria, included young activists in the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN) and Nigeria’ Slow Food coordinator, Benjamin Olatilo. The Kenema Kola Nut Presidium will represent Sierra Leone at the International Market.

Taste Workshops and Cooking Schools are paid events and tickets can be purchased online; the Terra Madre thematic Forums are presented by delegates of the network and are open to the public as long as seats are available. Click here for the list of available events, which is constantly updated.

Jean Marie Koalga – International Councillor for Western Africa

[email protected]

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 Press Office

Slow Food, +39 329 83 212 85 [email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

Region of Piedmont, +39 011 432 2549 – [email protected]

City of Turin, +39 011 011 21976 – +39 342 1100131 – [email protected]

To request press accreditation, please click here.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is an event organized by the City of Turin, Slow Food, and the Region of Piedmont in collaboration with MIPAAF (Italy’s Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies). It has been made possible thanks to its many sponsors, including the Official Partners, GLEvents-Lingotto Fiere, IREN, Lavazza, Lurisia, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino and Quality Beer Academy; with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT-Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Associazione delle Fondazioni di Origine Bancaria del Piemonte, and Coldiretti; and with the contribution of IFAD, the European Union, and CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori).

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. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers, and academics in over 160 countries.

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