Juliette and I met for a sunny weekend in Turin the 24 and 25 October at the occasion of the International taste fair Terra madre 2014 (Salone del gusto). This fair is organized every two years by Slow Food since 1996. These edition mains themes were food biodiversity and family farming, since 2014 is the international year of this type of agriculture.
For the record, Slowfood was created by Carlo Petrini in the Italian Piemont Region in 1986 (first it was named Arcigola), then the organization became international in 1989 with the signing of a manifesto against “the universal folly of Fast Life” and for the preservation of pleasure and respect of the environment.
- 220.000 visitors as in the 2012 previous edition
- 1266 exhibitors: farmers, producers, associations, institutions, Slowfood representatives from all around the world.
- More than 129 conferences on food, agriculture and their sustainability with high level speakers
- Tasting workshops
And for us, as regards to the theme or of the international dimension of the even, the Salone del Gusto was impossible to miss within the framework of our blog.
But was it a foretaste of Expo 2015? What did we do, what did we thing, discover our photo coverage report!
Ps: we’ll write articles about some of the conferences we went to.
Lucia et Juliette
So many people!
From our arrival to the Lingotto (Fiat industrial site now reconverted) on Friday morning, a crowd, a huge queue from 10am when the Salone was opening at 11 o’clock. Fortunately, people waited under a nice sun ;)
Even if the fact that we love food and the huge reputation of the Salone are part of the reasons why we decided to go to Turin, our main objective was to assist to conferences and meet stakeholders in order to know more about the food and agriculture sustainability issues. And we’re far from being disappointed: high level speakers, participative exercises with audience, simultaneous translations. In particular, we have assisted to conferences of family farming against hunger, the European Union strategy for a more sustainable agriculture, Milan Protocol and food biodiversity. All of them really interesting and with a large audience.
Delicacy from all around the world and foodies!
But Salone del Gusto, it’s also many farmers and producers stalls from all around the word (even if we noticed that 3 pavilion were dedicated to Italian regions and only one for the rest of the world ;) where it’s often possible to taste food!
Special mention to the french stall where we taste amazing “saucissons” and “patés” and to Swiss pavilion were people were warmly welcomed and could taste unforgettable cheese specialty We had the opportunity to take the vacherin Mont d’Or (one the last seasonal cheese produced entirely in the Pays de Vaud)during a workshop animated by Dominik Flammer, Swiss and alpine gastronomic expert.
And then Juliette couldn’t help but concluding her lunch by a sweet touch and opted for the sure thing: Sicily!
Among the hundreds of stands, we passed by the Italian 2015 Pavillion stand. We met Paolo Verri (Exposition and event programs director for the Italian Pavilion) who explained us the organization the Pavillon during Expo. We’ll hope to meet him and make an article about it, but we can already tell you that the event-driven programming will be very rich and there will be a changing theme every month. We also met some people of the UN and youth Slow food Pavilion.
You know the expression: the cobbler’s children go barefoot? Well it’s so true in general for the events dealing with sustainable development issues, because the impact of their organization on the environment is not even measured or reduced. Perfection doesn’t exist. But we must say that the Salone del gusto made many efforts: choice of materials, waste sorting, promotion of carpooling.
Since 2012, Slowfood and the Italian minister of environment work together on a project to organize event with less environmental impacts.
« Buono, pulito e giusto » (good, clean and fair) =Slow Food watchword for new food systems
Most importantly, during the Salone del Gusto many informative and educative workshops, exhibitions and educative activities were organized on the food and agriculture model promoted by Slow Food, a model that will be better, cleaner and fairer. Indeed, there was enough activitiesfor everyone: children, artists and families.
A call for “giving a soul to 2015 Universal Exposition”
Next Universal Exposition of Milan was evocked various time during the Salone del Gusto and its conference. In particular, Slow Food international President, Carlo Petrini called once again officially the 2015 Exposition organizators to “give a soul” to the Expo. In a letter, cosigned by Carlo Petrini, the Italian Priest committed against Mafia, Luigi Ciotti and the Italian film director, Ermanno Olmi, they called the 2015 Universal exposition to not reduce food as a mere merchandise, when it could be a fantastic opportunity to recall to everyone that “it’s the planet that feeds us”.
But in conclusion: the Salone del Gusto was it a good foretaste of the 2015 Universal Exposition? Let’s hope it as regards to themes, dialogue and conviviality. However the two events can hardly be compared because of their organization: 5 days for the Salone del Gusto, 6 months for the World Expo, stands of producers, associations and institution at the Salone, huge Pavilion by countrie or theme in 2015.
We really hope in any cases to find the same public and speakers: committed farmers, experts, motivated consumers, foodies, young and old people coming from all around the world to put the food and agriculture sustainability issues at the heart of citizen and political commitment and of cultural dialogue.