Turda Fest

12 Oct 2009

The fifth edition of Turda Fest, an annual national event showcasing small-scale producers was held on the last weekend of September in Cluj, Transylvania. Organized by the Turda Fest Association with support from the Ratiu Foundation, the festival is linked to various programs, including Slow Food projects and markets in the region, and aims to provide greater economic stability for small-scale producers and connect consumers to healthy, natural, and traditional village products.

HRH the Prince of Wales is a patron to the event, and said in his opening letter to the festival: ‘During my visits to Transylvania over the years, I have been greatly impressed by the extraordinary diversity of village life and culture in this unique part of Europe… After all, it (the traditional) is the element in our lives that provides not only a sense of continuity in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world, but also a sense of identity and belonging. Slow Food is a case in point… The very term “agri-culture” demonstrates how intimately connected the growing of food is with cultural diversity; with local identity and the customs and traditions which give an area its character and meaning; with individual farming families and the patterns of community life.’

Members of the Romanian Slow Food network selected a group of small-scale producers to participate in a farmers’ market held during the festival. The market included producers of the two Romanian Slow Food Presidia, Saxon Village Preserves and Brânzá de Burduf, as well as pastrav afumat (smoked trout preserved in pine branches), pastrami, raw-milk cheeses, fresh seasonal fruit and honeys.

Leaders of the eight Romanian Slow Food convivia also held their first national meeting during the festival, to discuss the work that has been done since the first convivium was established in 2005 and how to further strengthen the Slow Food and Terra Madre network. They will meet again at the end of October in Saschiz to continue discussions.

Slow Food in Romania

Slow Food’s work in Romania is focused primarily on supporting and promoting small-scale producers who are struggling to find a market for their produce. In Bucharest, every weekend 25 producers attend the targul taranului (farmers’ market) in the courtyard of Palazzo Vama, the old site of the Bucharest Stock Exchange. This market is the process of becoming an Earth Market – an international network of farmers’ markets respecting the Slow Food philosophy.

In addition, Slow Food convivia organize a wide range of food education activities for children. Slow Food Turda has planted a school garden at a local pre-school and Brusturoasa convivium has developed a food education program to help youth people understand local foods: their history and origins, how they are produced and by whom. Slow Food Tarnava Mare is working with communities in traditional Saxon villages, a UNESCO World Heritage area, supporting them to increase production and sales of traditional products, and to promote the region.

For more information on:

Romanian convivia click here

Terra Madre network in Romania click here

Slow Food Presidia, Brânzá de Burduf and Saxon Village Preserves, click here
www.discovertarnavamare.org

Bucharest Earth Market
www.earthmarkets.net
www.targultaranului.ro (in Romanian)

Turda Fest click here

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