Paolo di Croce, Slow Food International General Secretary: “We are launching an important challenge: collecting a million signatures from around Europe in defense of the soil. We want Europe to recognize soil as a common good and to make a commitment to its sustainable management as a priority. We have 12 months to collect the required 1 million signatures, which must come from at least seven European countries. The Slow Food network, which is present in every EU country, will be mobilized for the next year on this campaign. If we can reach the target by September 2017, the European Commission will have to intervene to protect the soil.” The official launch of the initiative at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto takes place on Thursday September 22 at 5pm during the presentation Official Kick-Off of the European Citizens’ Initiative People4Soil. At the moment, soil is not subject to consistent regulations in the European Union countries. The Soil Framework Directive was withdrawn in May 2014 after eight years of blocking by a minority of member states, and the EU policies that do exist in other sectors are not sufficient to guarantee an adequate level of protection for all the soils in Europe. Erosion, soil consumption, fertility loss, compacting due to the use of heavy machinery, salinization, hydrogeological instability and contamination from pollutants have negative impacts on human health, food security, natural ecosystems, biodiversity and climate, not to mention our economy. European citizens have the right to take part in the development of EU policies thanks to the European Citizens‘ Initiative (ECI). The ECI is an important tool for participatory democracy, a measure thanks to which a million European citizens living in at least a quarter of the member states can ask the Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act.
At Terra Madre Salone del Gusto visitors can sign the petition at the Slow Food association stands, after the conferences and forums dedicated to soil, in the Slow Food Education space in the Borgo Medievale (Valentino park) and in many other places. They just have to look for the big green “People 4 Soil” hand.
The signature-gathering will continue online at the many events organized across Europe by the “People 4 Soil” organizations. To find out more and to help promote the petition, click here.
For more information, please contact:
Slow Food, +39 329 83 212 85, [email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress
Region of Piedmont, +39 011 432 2549, +39 335 7586327, [email protected]
City of Turin, +39 011 01121976, +39 3421100131, [email protected]
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is made possible with the help of several bodies, among which are the Official Partner: Lurisia, Pastificio Martino, Radeberger Gruppe Italy, Lavazza, Sapori, Iren, Intesa San Paolo, Elpe; the supporters of the Terra Madre Foundation and Slow Food: Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT and the Association of Banking Foundations of Piedmont, Coldiretti. With the support of IFAD, the European Union and CIA.
Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.