Slow Food

Slow Food signs an agreement with the Brazilian government

- 30 Apr 03

This marks an historical moment for the International Slow Food movement, now co-signees with President Lula’s government in an important agreement that will work to promote small scale, traditional agriculture.

The talks were initiated by José Graziano da Silva, Brazil’s Special State Minister for Food Safety and the Battle against Hunger (MESA), the government’s representative of its Zero Hunger project. In turn, Slow Food is fully committed to work with Brazil on this agreement, principally through the development of a series of Brazilian Presidia projects and consequently building a solid support base for those small agro-alimentary producers (farmers) with strong ties to their land’s history and indigenous culture.

Roberto Burdese, Vice-President of Slow Food and Minister José Graziano da Silva signed the protocol in Brazil on Tuesday, April 29. The signing took place during a ceremony, which was held to celebrate 30 years of Embrapa (Brazil’s Association for Agricultural Research). President Lula was in attendance.

This official commitment, which will see Slow Food working in the ‘front line’ with the Brazilian government for the protection and promotion of that country’s agricultural heritage – is the result of a series of meetings held over the past few days between Slow Food representatives Roberto Burdese, and Paolo Di Croce of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, and representatives of Lula’s government.

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The text of the agreement follows:

Agreement Protocol between the Cabinet of the Special State Minister for Food Safety and the Battle against Hunger project, (MESA) and SLOW FOOD, the International Non-profit association based in Bra, Italy.

The agreement is based on the mutual understanding of the following concepts:

a) Basic human rights and access to healthy, safe and quality foods for all.

b) Protection of the animal and vegetable biodiversity in the agro-alimentary field.

c) Protection and the spread of knowledge about these fundamental rights, guaranteed free access to genetic resources and the conservation of traditional production techniques.

d) A rediscovery of the country’s agro-alimentary patrimony, its cultural value and popular identity.

MESA and Slow Food commit to the realization of the following objectives through joint action and projects:

1) A revival of knowledge about traditional cultivation and animal husbandry techniques.

2) Promotion and protection of the small, local and traditional farmers, especially in regards to indigenous populations.

3) A return to traditional production mechanisms that are both self-supporting and directed towards local consumption.

4) The creation of the necessary conditions for a free and fair agro-alimentary commerce, inclusive of the possibility of turning to international markets.

Brasilia, 29 April 2003

Josè Graziano da Silva
Special State Minister for Food Safety and the Battle against Hunger (MESA)

Roberto Burdese
Vice President Slow Food