The Eighth International Conference on Slow Food Opens a New Era for FAO

Today, July 16, 2022, Slow Food hosted its 8th International Conference in Polenzo, Italy. This historical history of the organization marks a new stage of change and renewal, given the seal of approval by the man who founded it three decades ago, Carlo Petrini.

Conference delegates today elected new global leadership ready to address the environmental, climate, political and social challenges facing the movement, which is present in 160 countries.

“The role of food as the main culprit in environmental catastrophe is emerging louder and clearer than ever. Our movement, which has been working for 30 years to ensure good, clean and fair food, must have the courage to take a leading political role in curbing this trend, which has repercussions disastrous.” Carlo Petrini. We need a rule that leaves room for new generations. We must be able to combine the new with our history. The path we have taken so far has allowed us to achieve goals that once seemed unattainable and have made us who we are. However, today’s world is profoundly different from the one that witnessed the beginnings of our movement. We must therefore welcome and allow ourselves to be guided by the creativity and intuition of new individuals who are able to interpret the present and set the course that will allow the achievement of future goals.”

Photographed by Marco del Comune

At the heart of this exciting outlook lies the new leadership of Slow Food, represented by Edward Mukebe, better known as Edie.

Born in 1986 in Uganda to a farming family, the same year the slow food movement on the Spanish Steps was born in Rome to protest the opening of McDonald’s. The origin story of Mukibe is from Kisuga in Mukono District, Uganda, and is rooted on his family’s farm in a village in Oganda. Today, he’s making history with his appointment as president of Slow Food, and he’s looking to shape the future of renewable farming cultures.

A tropical agronomist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Land Use Management from Makerere University in Kampala (Uganda) as well as a Masters in Gastronomy from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Polyneso, Mukibe is a Food and Agriculture teacher, social entrepreneur and, as of this Month, you formally step up to lead the Slow Food community as president of the organization.
Mukebe’s work has been recognized by numerous awards honoring his selfless contribution to a sustainable, fair and equitable food system. His honors include the Ray Charles Blackhand Award for Sustainability from Dillard University and a certificate resolution from the Detroit City Council. Mukebe was recently included in the Empowering Teachers category of the Next 50 Awards for Young People Under 35 for Shaping the Future of Gastronomy.

In addition to the presidency, the Executive Committee of Slow Food, the organization’s highest decision-making body, has been revamped with a new group that reflects the movement’s rich diversity.

During the conference, they expressed their future commitment to the slow food guide:

Marta Mesa (Italy), new Secretary-General
“In over 10 years serving Slow Food, I’ve learned a lot about the unique aspects of our movement: We’ve seen this shine so far, including during the pandemic. As a group, we want to make the most of the movement’s strengths, while being aware of its flaws and what we need to improve. As we celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of Carlo’s inherited work and welcome the new leadership of Mukibe, we also grow, just like any other organization.Our aim is to continue to fight for everyone’s right to good, clean and fair food, to raise the vast wealth of knowledge for grassroots communities and to facilitate the assimilation of systems sustainable food around the world.

Richard McCarthy (USA)
“How can we involve people in everyday life? The development of thematic networks has proven to be a strategic asset of the Slow Food movement, as it deeply engages a related variety of goals capable of influencing food systems by catalysing processes of change through exchange and mutual cooperation on issues associated with closely related to their daily lives and interests, as well as mobilizing specific new resources. I believe that thematic networks also provide an opportunity to test new experiences of grouping within Slow Food.”

Dali Nolasco Cruz (Mexico)
“Indigenous peoples are examples of resilience and defense for life on Earth, and are repositories of ancestral knowledge. Indigenous women and youth around the world struggle to recognize their role as custodians of food systems, land and biodiversity. The renewal of the Slow Food system is an opportunity to continue building from the collective And to position itself as the best and most well-known organization on food issues.”

Jorit Kiwik (Netherlands)
“I was born less than 20 years after the Club of Rome published its ‘Limits to Growth’. I was raised in the midst of a climate catastrophe. In the past 30 years, I have experienced first-hand how the loss of biodiversity has a terrible impact on our planet. My generation and future generations suffer from a lack of Working in the last 50 years I believe Slow Food holds the key to reversing these challenges I believe our movement, uniting producers and consumers, and everyone in between, can change our world for the better. I am honored to take on this role and can’t wait to start working with the global network of activists on grassroots level, to make a change for the better. Changing the food system, step by step.”

Megumi Watanabe (Japan)
“I would like to remember focusing on the joy that is the core identity of Slow Food. We need to renew our relationships within the movement, as well as with the outside world, so that we can truly become a collective voice. We must continue to remind ourselves that this movement is for all of humanity. So we need to make an effort to push the boundaries, to get out of our comfort zone.”

Francesco Sutil (Italy)
“If biodiversity has been our goal for 30 years, regeneration efforts today must also address our approach to biodiversity itself. We have said many right things in the past, we have supported an international network that is able to show how much biodiversity there is around the planet and how much we are and are going to lose If we do not find the key to conservation through rural communities.Today we must support environmental transformation, mitigate climate change and replenish resources and rural areas by fighting poverty and returning food sovereignty to rural communities.We must do our best for biodiversity and agroecology to be in The heart of food policies, and to demonstrate that resilience comes from diversity.”

Nina Wolf (Germany)
“The world needs guidance in order to slow down, and this reinforces our responsibility to make the Slow Food message shine; in light of current crises and human rights abuses, the political focus of our work must grow. Advocacy can be a tool to realize our extreme hunger to achieve food justice. It is a necessity for Slow Food in the Global North to make the effects of our food systems on the Global South understandable. This International Council is a wonderful team of trusted, dedicated individuals ready to serve the Movement.”

Photographed by Marco del Comune

“Staying together as a global food network and movement is critical to making a lasting impact on a food system that has become a burden on the planet,” he added. Mokibe As he was looking forward to his first Terra Madre event as Head of Slow Food. “Terra Madre 2022 and the hashtag #REGENERACTION, will symbolize the moment of the grand new openings of the Slow Food Global Network.”

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, the largest international event dedicated to sustainable food, agriculture and environmental policies, to be held in Turin, Italy from September 22-26, 2002, is planning to launch a hybrid event that can accommodate both in-person and online participants around the world about its impact campaign. UPCOMING #REGENERACTION.

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