The Annual General Meeting of Slow Food’s Italian convivium leaders was held in Giulianova Lido in the Abruzzo region of Italy on May 19-20. In his introductory speech, SF President Carlo Petrini focused his attention on two pillars of the Slow Food movement: the Presidia, which have helped create a new model of agriculture in Italy, and the Master of Food, a project produced by the ‘most powerful taste education machine in Italy’. This large-scale operation responds to the growing demands of consumers, increasingly alarmed by recent food scandals. The ambitious three-year program envisages over 1,200 courses with about 400 lecturers nationwide. ‘Our association,’ said Petrini, ‘has cut its umbilical cord with peasant culture, where knowhow used to be handed down from generation to generation, and families allocated a large slice of their income to food, much more than the meager 12% of today. The result is mass, poor-quality food production. Today, however, consumer needs are changing under the thrust of recent food scandals. The need for information no longer reflects the demand of a few gourmets. It is a right of all citizens.’ Petrini also presented the world’s first university of food and wine sciences – the International Academy of Taste in Bra-Pollenzo (Cuneo) and Colorno (Parma) – which will be launched in 2003 to train people for new job descriptions in the fields of taste education, publishing and communication, agroindustrial marketing, tourism and the protection of typical produce. The speeches of the numerous delegates present in Giulianova revealed how a strong link exists between the quality of food and life and the need for the Slow Food movement to devote greater attention to developing countries, creating in loco the premisses for the growth of economies respectful of local traditions and compatible with the environment.The meeting in Abruzzo was also accompanied by pasta workshops organized by De Cecco, a leader in the food sector for over 100 years, and a synonym of quality on tables the world over, which Slow Food has chosen as its partner for a series of initiatives linked to the taste education projects.