Salone Special: Youth Unite for Better Food and Agriculture

19 Oct 2012

Young people play an important role in all of Slow Food’s events and the 2012 edition of Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre is no exception. The Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN), the association’s network of young farmers, cooks, artisans, activists and students from five continents, will be organizing Conferences, Eat-Ins and other activities that showcase their projects and enthusiasm to actively change the future of food and farming.

Around 250 SFYN delegates under the age of thirty, including students from the Slow Food founded University of Gastronomic Sciences, will participate in the event. A number of youth delegates will also attend the Slow Food International Congress, held every four years to bring together the association’s local leaders and decide upon strategies for the future of Slow Food, the Terra Madre network and projects to defend biodiversity.

The program of activities planned for the SFYN area in the Oval include the World Cafè, an informal meeting place for youth to share their experiences and strengthen the network, and “Do-It-Yourself!” workshops to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and skills on organizing events, fundraising and setting up campaigns. National meetings will also be held each day, giving national SFYN groups the opportunity to speak about their initiatives and plans and introduce their local food heroes.

Two neighboring spaces run by the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo Convivium and the university’s Student Association (ASSG), will host more activities. The students will be running the event’s Personal Shopper trips, guided tours around the market to discover producers’ secrets and learn about food from a sustainable, social, nutritional and educational perspective. They will also organize four thematic Eat-Ins, communal potluck meals that will bring together producers, delegates, visitors and students around particular food issues, uniting conviviality and politics.

A group of Masters students from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, are also playing an active part in a series of conferences and roundtable discussions on young people and agriculture as part of their course in Food Geography.

One of the most important moments in the SFYN program at Salone is the conference “Slow F…uture: The Slow Food Youth Network Gathering” (CF14 – October 27 – 10:00 AM), which looks at the role of young people in determining the food system of tomorrow. The event has no scheduled speakers, offering an opportunity to develop and share ideas and welcoming contributions from members of the international network as well as the general audience.

The conference “Say, Do, Hoe: Practices and Policies for Youth Agriculture” will focus on the reform of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy and how to involve more young people in agriculture through new and inspiring experiences. Scheduled speakers include Pavlos Georgiadis and Samuel Levi, representatives of the Slow Food Youth Network in Greece and the Netherlands respectively, Andrzej Nowakowski of ARC2020, Vittorio Sangiorgio, president of Coldiretti Giovani Impresa, several young farmers and a representative from the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies.

Launched in 2010, the SFYN is working to promote a good, clean and fair food system with year-around activities across the globe. Events organized recently by the network include the famous Eat-Ins, the Amsterdam Food Film Festival and the Schnippeldisko (chopping disco), where hundreds of people prepared soups in town centers using ‘discarded’ vegetables to raise awareness of food waste.

Click here for details of the program and entrance tickets.

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