Carlo Petrini Addresses 30,000 People at Demonstration Against Agribusiness: International farmers and consumers come together in Berlin to call for a more sustainable food and farming system

Carlo Petrini, founder and president of the international organization Slow Food, was one of the speakers on stage today, January 18, 2014, at the yearly “We are fed up” demonstration in Berlin, Germany. Now in its fourth year, the event is organized by a coalition of organizations, including Slow Food Deutschland, Demeter, and Oxfam Germany. Bringing an estimated 30,000 people to the German capital, the demonstration aims to fight against and raise awareness of the negative consequences of agribusiness, which include threatening the livelihood of many small-scale farms each year and undermining consumers’ right to transparency and choice, as well as increasing the standardization of tastes and thus the loss of biodiversity.

Thirty thousand farmers and people from different organizations and countries gathered this morning at Potsdamer Platz and then proceeded together by foot and tractor to the governmental buildings, where Carlo Petrini spoke to the crowd: “Small-scale farming is not anti-progress, poor or underdeveloped. It is a sustainable agricultural model that uses natural and human resources respectfully, and therefore guarantees social and food security. This is why this year is the International Year of Family Farming, and this is why we are in Berlin today!”

Petrini encouraged every single European citizen to make the right candidate choice during the next elections for the European Parliament by making the potential candidates express their position on agricultural topics and avoid that only the interests of multinationals are considered. “We will not let any candidate avoid our questions,” Petrini said. He closed his speech with a strong statement: “Our message today is clear: If the EU loses its small farmers and its family farms, then it loses its history, it loses its culture, it loses its identity; it would not exist anymore.”

The participation of young people was remarkably high during the series of events, which included an action against food waste, known as Disco Soup invented and organized by the Slow Food Youth Network on the evening before the demonstration. Petrini thus dedicated a speech to the young generation during one of the workshops that were held after the demonstration at the Heinrich-Böll Stiftung: “I am going home full of joy of what I have witnessed today in Berlin: Thousands of people who fight for a sustainable and small-scale agriculture, that is fair to the consumer, the producer and the environment. If this is the new generation, and these the new movements for the future of Europe, then I am convinced that we will win this battle.”

Here you can find pictures of today’s events: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157639869299063/

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International press office:

Paola Nano, +329 8321285 [email protected]

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