100 delegates, among them scientists, researchers, experts and workers on the field of biodiversity, representing 25 European countries, were in Florence on November 24 for a congress on biodiversity, organized by Bioplatform-EPBRS (European Platform for Biodiversity Research) , a consulting body for the European Union.
The conference, organized to mark Italy’s presidency of the EU, was held at the Istituto Agricolo per l’Oltremare in Florence, and was also attended by representatives of the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Universities, Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of the Environment, the Tuscany Regional Authority, and by Arsia, a Tuscan regional agency for agricultural innovation and development.
In the morning, Cinzia Scaffidi, head of the Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biodiversity, explained in her speech how Slow Food has been working for years to preserve animal and vegetable diversity and our extraordinary wealth of food traditions. She stressed that, “This means, among other things, conserving regional traditions, encouraging young people to be interested in food, and working to avoid or at least curb the homogenization of food culture.”
Hence the new challenge launched by Slow Food: to organize for October 2004 a Meeting of the world’s food producing communities, whereby 5,000 producers from every corner of the world will be invited to Turin to take part in four days of discussions, meetings and seminars. The event will provide an opportunity for the producers to talk about their common problems and the most efficient solutions for spreading sustainable agriculture and food production respectful of the environment, biodiversity and the pleasure of taste. In other words, a new model of development.
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