The eighth Salone del Gusto, Slow Food’s biennial food festival that showcases quality, small-scale producers from around the world, attracted a record 200,000 visitors to the Turin last weekend, with around 30% coming from outside of Italy.
In addition to displaying the quality artisan food and wine production from 910 stallholders, the international market had a strong educational focus, with emphasis on raising awareness and stimulating debate about the future of food production. A major focus was to present foods which are at risk of extinction, such as Ethiopian mountain honeys, Brazilian Baru nut and Indonesian pepper, and this year around one third of the stalls were allocated to 182 Italian and 106 international Slow Food Presidia – projects to support small-scale, traditional food production – who also participate in the Terra Madre meeting.
The Terra Madre world meeting of food communities, which is held simultaneously and in collaboration with Salone, brings together the food and agricultural production sectors of 150 countries who are committed to defend and promote production that respects the environment, safeguards food biodiversity and advocates social justice.
To highlight the numerous and diverse regions coming together in these two events, and the importance of territory in producing quality foods, the theme of this year’s Salone was “Food+/=Places”. Thus, the exhibition was organized by grouping producers by region rather than by food category, with each region or country presenting its own products, projects and cuisine.
“This is the Salone del Gusto in its maturity and it has been one of the best editions of Terra Madre in terms of the sediment of ideas and projects it leaves behind it”, said Slow Food Italy President Roberto Burdese. “The continuity between the two events has been shown by the extraordinary attendance of the conferences, particularly those dealing with environmental and social issues like land grabbing and sustainable packaging, and of Slow Food’s educational initiatives, with 5,000 adults participating in the ‘Slow Food Educa’ activities and over 1,000 children taking part in the education course.”
Regional Councilor Alberto Cirio closed the conference, saying, “The Salone del Gusto together with Terra Madre has been confirmed as one of the most important events in the region of national and international significance. With its 200,000 visitors, it contributes in an important way to the tourism and commercial activities of this region and at the same time has the capacity and authority to inspire a profound reflection on food and the global community it represents. The Piedmont regional authority will continue to support it as Slow Food’s partner, taking all the measures necessary to guarantee the event’s success.”
The International Salone del Gusto 2010 wass organized by the Piedmont Regional Authority, the City of Turin and Slow Food; official sponsors are Lurisia, Consorzio per la TuteConsorzio del Parmigiano-Reggiano, Intesa Sanpaolo and Pasta Garofalo.