"Putting farmers first" in Albania: Terra Madre Balkans

 ROME -- The agricultural conference Terra Madre Balkans is set to take place from June 2 to 5 this year in Albania, with the theme of “putting farmers first.”  This will be the fourth edition of the conference, at which there will be around 350 delegates from 13 countries.  Carlo Petrini, the president of global organisation Slow Food, will also be present, as will several ministers from the Albanian government and various mayors from around the region.

 Albania was chosen thanks to its rapidly increasing Slow Food network and is organised by VIS Albania and Slow Food in Albania.  They are partnered with the Agricultural University of Tirana and have the support of several agencies including the Italian Agency for International Cooperation.

 Countries present will include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, The Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Albania.  This year’s theme has been chosen in order to stress the importance of keeping the interests of small-scale food producers at the forefront of new policies, and to encourage the sustainable development of the region.

 During the conference there is set to be an Earth Market offering food from around the world under the Slow Food catalogue of the world’s food biodiversity that documents endangered products, the Ark of Taste.  There will also be a series of talks and debates on the legal rights of small producers, rural tourism, social justice, the marketing of craft products and multifunctional agriculture.  Throughout this they will be taking the EU integration standards into account.

 The upcoming edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, dedicated to artisan and small-scale food producers, as well as an international forum of echange, will be taking place from September 22-26 in Turin.