Allegrini 2018

Agriculture Post Covid-19, “The concept of community will be fundamental”, said Carlin Petrini

The focus must be on small production companies and local economies: Petrini live on the Slow Food Facebook page examines opportunities for the future
Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food

We are experiencing a global health emergency that has affected millions of people, and is putting the economies around the globe in extremely difficult conditions. Catering and the food supply chain have been particularly hard hit and “this is the reason that now we must take this opportunity to reorganize and rethink the economic structure, which currently engages the majority of livestock and agriculture in unsustainable practices from an environmental and social point of view. We need to focus on a concept that the highest economies do not take into much consideration: community”. This summarizes the analysis, as always realistic and detailed, that Carlin Petrini explained live on the Slow Food Italia (of which Petrini is the founder) Facebook page, inaugurating a series of weekly meetings, where Slow Food network activists will be able to launch ideas and initiatives to be put in place post Covid-19.
“For more than 16 years”, Petrini explained, “our Movement has had in-depth experience of how effective and important this type of association is. I have always said that this type of social organization is a winner, because emotional intelligence is what regulates it. There is a way of being, in the sense of existing, a sharing system within a community that is not comparable to any other organizational form. And this is what people, especially in this challenging moment, are looking for - sharing, support, community”.
The concept is also perfectly adaptable to Italy’s agricultural system potential, the excellence of which is characterized by the fragmented nature of its territories, production diversity, traditions and culture. And, it translates into one simple word: biodiversity. “In Italy, and around the world, the way agriculture is organized now will no longer be possible in the future. We need” , emphasized Petrini, “to give importance to small production companies and to local economies, creating a network, which is also the primary fabric of a larger and stronger economy. And therefore, we always go back to the same point. We need to create communities, through sharing, inclusiveness, openness, sustainability, and to stop thinking about agriculture as something financial, taking into consideration only the profit aspect. Instead, we are talking about culture, and when we talk about culture we are also talking about politics”.
These concepts are certainly not new to Carlo Petrini, Slow Food and Terra Madre. The latter was founded with the goal of being “the community of communities. The reasoning behind creating Terra Madre was to let the communities all over the world express their diversity without restrictions, in what I call “austere anarchy”. In this historical period”, concluded Petrini, “initiatives of protest, building and rebirth will be successful if they are developed within a community”.

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