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All Things Balkan

Bulgaria - 29 Jun 12

Terra Madre Balkans was launched in Sofia in 2010, and it is the first such network 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. Both Slow Food and the Terra Madre network are well rooted in the region and form a vast group of actors counting more than 1500 Slow Food members, 11 Presidia, 60 Terra Madre food communities, 15 food and taste education programmes in schools, and 25 chefs. Slow Food directly supports more than 25 projects in the countries of the region, ranging from sustaining small-scale artisan productions facing extinction (such as the Tcherni Vit green cheese, wild fig slatko, and ljubitovica sarac garlic) to mapping local traditional products, promoting short food supply chains and launching taste and food education initiatives in schools. This year the Balkan network will come together in Sofia to discuss the European Union’s new Common Agricultural Policy and the challenges and opportunities it presents for small-scale farmers both in EU and extra-EU countries of the region. Over 150 delegates from 10 countries will participate: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, UNMIK Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. Together with the three main conferences of the event, Slow Food will set up a series of side-events held in the Botanic Garden of Sofia, from round tables to eat-ins, as well as tasting events for kids. A marketplace open to the public will be set up from Saturday afternoon onward with an outstanding selection of products from food communities and Slow Food Presidia from throughout the region. The event is organized by the Association of Slow Food Convivia in Bulgaria together with Slow Food International, and funded by the Open Society, Sofia Municipality Culture Programme and the EU. Organizational partners are the New Culture Foundation, the European Institute, the Botanic Garden of the University of Sofia, and the Institute of Biodiversity and ecosystem research of the Bulgarian Academy of Science. Interimage Ltd. Company will logistically support the organization of the event and will provide the PR promotion. Media partner is Menu Magazine. This year Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto will host a 180 square-meter exhibition area dedicated to the Balkan region, where more than 50 food communities and Presidia will be showcasing and selling their food produce. The area will be organized around four different paths through the region’s food-biodiversity: high alpine cheeses, preserves, spirits & wines, and wild herbs. For more information: Michele Rumiz Slow Food – Coordinator for Balkan Countries m.rumiz@slowfood.it Dessislava Dimitrova Event Coordinator and Slow Food International Councillor dessidim3010@gmail.com


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