Petrini in Morocco

01 Mar 2011

Celebrating ten years since Slow Food was taken up by communities in Morocco, the association’s president Carlo Petrini is in the country this week meeting with members and producers, as well as officials and ministers, and getting to work on preparations for the next International Councilors’ Meeting to be held in the capital Rabat this June.

Slow Food activities were launched in Morocco in 2001, where, like much of the African continent, small-scale agriculture is essential but is often threatened by mass production that jeopardizes the environment, local cultures and biodiversity. Since then, the focus has been on protecting traditional quality products and helping small producers, especially through the Presidia project – which assists groups of producers of threatened products – and Slow Food’s new project to create community food gardens, A Thousand Gardens in Africa.

While in Morocco Petrini has met with some of the five hundred members who have been active in creating projects, among them 42 people who traveled to Italy last year for the Terra Madre world meeting of food communities. To date, ten food communities have been formed across the country, including four Presidia projects supporting unique national products: Alnif Cumin, Argan Oil, Taliouine Saffron and Zerradoun Salt.

Through these meetings and talks with various ministers, Petrini hopes the visit will help to strengthen the network of small producers, cooks, experts and associations, and their efforts to promote Moroccan agricultural and gastronomic heritage and encourage sustainable production and consumption.

Before leaving on Wednesday, Petrini is also participating in the conference “Slow Food: food policy in the Mediterranean”, at the Scientific Institute of University Mohammed V – Agdal of Rabat this evening.

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