Slow Food

Terra Madre Balkans 2010

Bulgaria - 11 Jun 10

The first meeting of the Balkan Peninsula Terra Madre network will be held at the University of Sofia (Bulgaria) on July 16-18, 2010. Terra Madre is the world meeting of food communities launched by Slow Food in 2004 in Turin (Italy). It brings small-scale farmers and food producers together with cooks, academics and the young generation to discuss how to improve the food system collaboratively and produce food in a sustainable, good, clean and fair way. Since that first event, meetings have been held at global and national level, resulting in projects that promote the exchange of knowledge around the world. Terra Madre Balkans 2010 is the first such meeting to unite food communities from several countries of the same region. Balkan countries share common unique food traditions and similar socio-economic conditions. Therefore, the safeguarding of their rural heritage needs common and timely efforts also beyond national borders. Today both Slow Food and the Terra Madre network are well rooted in the region and form a vast group of actors counting more than 500 Slow Food members, 9 Slow Food Presidia, 47 Terra Madre food communities, 8 food and taste education programmes in schools, and 20 chefs. Slow Food directly supports more than 20 projects in the countries of the region, ranging from sustaining small-scale artisan productions facing extinction to mapping local traditional products, from promoting short food supply chains to taste and food education initiatives in schools. The Balkan network will come together in Sofia to discuss important food issues, strengthen ties, and exchange skills and expertise. There will be conferences and workshops focusing on sustainable food production, raising consumer awareness through food and taste education, sustainable rural tourism development, and the promotion of the region's rich gastronomic heritage. Over 160 delegates from 10 countries will participate: Albania (10 representatives), Bosnia and Herzegovina (25), Bulgaria (44), Croatia (8), Greece (5) UNMIK Kosovo (3), Macedonia (15), Romania (30), Serbia (8), and Turkey (12). As an external part of the event, an exhibition area will be set up in the Botanic Garden of Sofia, with a wide range of activities open to the public: from food tastings and culinary demonstrations to activities targeting children and young people like the Journey to the Origins of Taste. The event is organized by the Association of Slow Food Convivia in Bulgaria together with Slow Food International, with the support of the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment and Waters, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, the Municipality of Sofia, the Botanic Garden of the University of Sofia, and the Coalition "Clean Food Fair Livelihood". Business Meetings Ltd. Company will logistically support the organization of the event. For further information: Michele Rumiz Slow Food – Coordinator for Balkan Countries +39 0172 419 746; Elisa Virgillitto Slow Food – Press Office +39 0172 419 666, Dessislava Dimitrova Event Coordinator and Slow Food International Councillor +359 885 432 540;