EXCLUSIVE – From Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian convivia are busy developing opportunities for their small-scale, traditional producers to participate in a wide range of regional, national and international events.
This weekend, Slow Food Brazil will host a large display at Bio Brazil Fair 2008 in São Paolo, a national fair promoting organic agriculture and produce. Brazilian convivia will utilize the space to introduce the public and buyers to foods from the presidia and the Brazilian Ark of Taste, as well as products from the Terra Madre food communities.
In early April, the Brasilia Convivium participated in the opening event of Brasil Sabor Festival, a month-long celebration of Brazilian gastronomy during which more than 2 000 national dishes were prepared. Following a presentation of the Slow Food movement, the local convivium demonstrated the eco-gastronomic philosophy in practice with tastings of dishes prepared by members.
Producers of various Brazilian presidia and Ark products also traveled to Germany this February to participate in Biofach 2008, the World Organic Trade Fair. This is the second year that the Brazilian Ministry of Agricultural Development has provided the support necessary for several small producer cooperatives to attend.
Producers at Biofach included representatives of the Coopercuc cooperative, a Slow Food presidium of 200 families who produce foods from the bittersweet fruit of the umbù tree, growers of babaçu, a small coconut included in the Brazilian Ark of Taste, and members of the food communities that produce and process pequi, a typical fruit of the Brazilian Sertao, and açai, a small, nutritional violet berry.
Thirteen convivia and 59 food communities have been established in Brazil over the past few years, building a strong Slow Food network and organizing a highly successful regional Terra Madre meeting in October last year. Brazil also supports small-producers through seven presidia projects and twelve products are listed on the international Ark of Taste.