Carlo Petrini, founder and president of Slow Food International spoke at the conference “Local agriculture and short food supply chains”, a joint initiative of Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health, today in Brussels. The conference will be available to view here.
The event aimed to explore ways and means to mobilize and value the economic potential of local agriculture and short food supply chains, addressing issues such as the support to small-scale producers through the CAP and increasing consumer awareness of local farm products.
“I am honored to be invited to share the experience of Slow Food and to speak on behalf of the thousands of farmers, fishers, artisans and food communities that make up the movement’s network,“ said Petrini. “The future of small-scale agricultural communities that play a vital role in the defense of landscapes and unique ecosystems is at risk,” he continued. “Current policies concerning rural development have proven to be inadequate in satisfying the needs of these communities. For change to take place, new agricultural paradigms are needed.”
In 2011, with the position paper Towards a New Common Agricultural Policy, Slow Food launched the Slow Europe campaign, calling for European policies that support sustainable small-scale producers, protect agro-biodiversity and encourage the involvement of young people in agriculture.
Through its events, projects and large network of members, Slow Food actively works to bring together consumers and producers closer together. “Consuming is the final act of the production process and a consumer must begin to be part of this process,” added Petrini. “By being aware about what we eat, making good, clean and fair choices and supporting short-supply chains, we can influence production, contribute to a better environment and, ultimately, a better life for our farmers and ourselves.”
Carlo Petrini took part in the closing session panel discussion of the conference along with consumer and farmer associations as well as academics and officials from around Europe.
The conference will be available soon for viewing here.
For more information on Slow Food’s campaign Slow Europe, visit: www.slowfood.com/sloweurope