Slow Food founder and international president Carlo Petrini was granted the Hospitality Innovation Award — an annual recognition of an individual or organization for outstanding achievements in the hospitality sector—at the Hotelforum 2007 conference in Munich last week.
Petrini was honored for his ability to foresee events in food, agriculture and eco-gastronomy and for the decisive role he has played in the development of the Slow Food movement and its philosophy, inventing and promoting its projects.
The €5000 prize money will be donated to the Tropical Fanfare Berhad Foundation, a non-profit organization established in Sarawak, Malaysia, in 2000. The foundation works to raise awareness among farmers of uses for modern machinery in improving tropical farming within a context of sustainable agriculture. It is the local partner of Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, which it has assisted in developing its Rimbas Black Pepper Presidium.
Rimbas is an isolated inland agricultural area of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. The Ibans, the most numerous native population of Sarawak, still cultivate the local variety of black pepper called Kuching. Since the crop is not very profitable, the presidium aims to improve the price producers receive by increasing the annual harvest and improving the production process and quality of the pepper.
The prize money will help Rimbas Black Pepper Presidium producers set up a workshop for the processing, drying and packing of the pepper and to cover the costs of their visit to the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre in 2008.