Health – Culture – Community
By supporting communities to regain control of good, clean and fair food production and consumption, consumers and producers are positively influenced: working conditions are improved; health problems tend to decrease; regional traditions and identities are maintained; local economies are rebuilt; generations are connected; value and appeal of food production is raised, and a greater number of young people are attracted to the sector.
Our workshops, programs and events increase awareness and create positive change by educating people about their food choices. The reach of these activities is often much broader than the immediate audience and extensive press coverage of both larger events and local activities brings the message to the wider community and to decision makers. For example, more than 5,000 children are already involved in Slow Food School Garden projects in Italy, and research has shown behavior change to reach the community via families, teachers and volunteers. By bringing together consumers and producers, we begin to reshape how entire communities relate to food and their region.
Practical assistance to Presidia producers has resulted in greater social stability in many communities – not only in developing nations, but also by providing incentives to continue traditions across the globe. Prior to the creation of the Huehuetenango Highlands Coffee Presidium, local coffee producers in this area of Guatemala were unable to sell their coffee at decent prices. They now produce one of the world’s best coffees, are supported by technical experts and with marketing advice, proudly bring their product directly to roasters, and participate in international fairs. In Norway, the Stockfish from the Isle of Soroya Presidium has revived a dying tradition, which is fundamental to the local culture and way of life of this island community.
Zala Kamba food community - Ethiopia
'For the 2008 edition of Terra Madre, we supported the Zala Kamba food community of musicians, who belong to the Gamo ethnic group in southwest Ethiopia. Despite their important role in the community, playing traditional instruments to indicate various tasks and stages of the agricultural seasons, this group has been historically marginalized, even within their own society. Terra Madre changed their lives. Over the period of 4 days, the Zala Kamba team not only participated in the workshops and seminars, but also performed their traditional music at the concurrent Salone del Gusto fair, which attracted 180,000 visitors, and at the Terra Madre closing ceremony to a captivated audience of 9,000.
Upon returning home to Ethiopia, the local government held a ceremony for them, honoring them for the first time in their lives for representing their district internationally, and invited them to participate in and be recognized at numerous official meetings and national events. All wore their Terra Madre nametags back at home, proudly appearing as representatives of Terra Madre
Wolde Gossa Tadesse, Program Officer, The Christensen Fund