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Slow food - Terra Madre

Slow Food is an international non-profit organisation that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, and the disappearance of local food traditions. Slow Food seeks to address the situation whereby people are losing connection with production of the food they eat, where it comes from, and how their food choices affect the rest of the world.

Terra Madre (Mother Earth) is Slow Food’s project to build an international network of food producers, representatives of local communities, cooks, academics and young people, towards establishing a system of good, clean and fair trade food production that is respectful of the earth. It has projects around the world that defend local food traditions, protect biodiversity and promote small-scale, quality products. This is necessary because in the last century 300,000 varieties of vegetables became extinct: America lost 93% of its food product diversity, while 75% was lost in Europe.

What happens at the event?

In October, the third meeting of producers from 1,600 food communities, took place in Turin, Italy, for five days of discussion, exchange and collaboration: altogether about 7,500 people. There were workshops, lectures from experts such as Carlo Petrini and Vandana Shiva, demonstrations, music, dance, meetings, tastings, and marketing. The aim is to develop an exchange of experience and skills such that the values of Terra Madre stimulate a significant public response.

Beekeepers from many regions participated in the event. Beekeeping is following the other agricultural sectors: as it becomes globalised and we lose bee diversity. Two workshops concerning honey and bees were packed with people keen to learn more about the crisis facing the bee sector.

Terra Madre’s aim to support small-scale, sustainable and local food production accords with Bees for Development's work to support and encourage beekeepers using indigenous bees and sustainable methods. We thank Slow Food - Terra Madre for enabling our participation in the 2008 event and will bring more information about the beekeeper groups in future editions of BfDJ.

Find out more at  www.terramadre.org     www.slowfood.com