The historical center of Bologna is welcoming farmers into its midst to sell their produce direct to residents this week, with the establishment of the first Earth Market in a large Italian city.
Opening this Saturday, November 29, the Bologna Earth Market will be held fortnightly initially, and become a weekly part of local life in early 2009.
By shortening the production line, the market will offer consumers the chance to meet with local producers, to understand the origins of the products on sale and to benefit from providing farmers and artisan producers with fairer prices that cut out the cost of middlemen. In addition, the market will restore a traditional meeting place for inhabitants, and encourage the regions food and wine culture and traditions.
The Earth Markets project has been launched by Slow Food around the world, With the aim of building a global network of farmers’ markets, which help to create a viable economy in both developing and developed parts of the world while still respecting the earth, local culture and diversity.
The initial markets were developed in Mali and Lebanon in 2007, and in Israel earlier this year. The Bologna market is the fourth Earth Market to open in Italy and thirteen others will be set up in the near future, each providing an opportunity to bring consumers and producers together.
The Bologna Earth Market is being organized by Slow Food Bologna and Slow Food Emilia Romagna with support from the Bologna Regional Authority, the Carisbo Foundation, Cineteca Bologana and the Council Bologna – Quarter Porto.