EXCLUSIVE – The seventh Salone del Gusto was officially presented at the Teatro Piccolo Regio in Turin on Wednesday. Speeches were made by Sergio Chiamparino, mayor of Turin, Mercedes Bresso, president of the Piedmont Regional Authority and Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food International.
Opening the proceedings, Roberto Burdese, president of Slow Food Italy, said that the upcoming Salone will be the biggest and most important to date with an exhibition area of 60,747 sq m, 15% more than in 2006. He also explained how Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre will the first international exhibition to apply a systematic approach to progressively reduce its own impact on the environment.
‘Our basic aim is to decrease energy use, gas emissions and waste at both events,’ he said. ‘CO2 emissions will be compensated for, but only after we have done our utmost to reduce them. By adopting this approach we are creating an exportable, low-environmental-impact, Piedmontese event model.’
Sergio Chiamparino said he was proud to host Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre once again . ‘Over the days of these two events, Turin becomes a place where strategies are developed so that environment, the optimization of the earth and economic challenges can live side by side in harmony,’ he said.
Mercedes Bresso added that, ‘Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre 2008 edition will be a world meeting for “alternative globalization”, its aim being to protect and optimize crop varieties and animal breeds, in opposition to the homologation of food and the forms of indiscriminate exploitation that are created by food production in the poorest countries in the world’. She concluded by recalling how ‘The Mother Earth of Piedmont — by which I mean a soil and a terroir rich not only in fruit but, above all, great ideas — has given birth to Terra Madre’.
In his closing speech, Carlo Petrini explained how this year’s event will put the spotlight on young people: ‘It is necessary for the number of people who work the land to increase and this can only happen with the contribution of young people. Farmers and peasants are the true guardians of our planet, conservers of biodiversity and traditional wisdom. To relocalize food production is to combine economic value with a sustainable model for agriculture. This isn’t a utopia, but a truly winning idea, the most modern in the world. Since we are aware of the need to regenerate agriculture through young people, thousand of students and young farmers and will come to Terra Madre.’
Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre
Turin, Ligotto Fiere exhibition center/Oval, October 23-27 2008