Terra Madre Salone del Gusto and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

For the 2018 edition, our organizers and research team decided to “read” all the actions during the preparation and implementation of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in relation to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, whereby countries commit to improving our world and to guaranteeing the same rights for all.

Governments aren’t the only ones involved: organizations, associations, and even individuals can play their part, including through events such as Terra Madre Salone del Gusto.

During the organization of the international good, clean and fair food event, which is held in Turin and attracts visitors from all over Italy and abroad, the Systemic Event Design (SEeD) research project was applied. The  project dates back to 2006 and is now run by the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo. It is a transdisciplinary project that redefines the concept of event quality. It aims to reduce the event’s environmental footprint, promote the economic and cultural impact generated locally, and promote social innovation, with the aim of raising awareness among the public and encouraging people to practice these good habits every day, even after they return home. On that note, below is a description of how some of the actions put in place for the 2018 edition have been interpreted according to the 17 goals of the United Nations, in a series of steps that ends with the event in September.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

This is an issue that Slow Food has been focusing its information and awareness-raising activities on for over a decade, starting with the concept of good, clean and fair. At Terra Madre Salone del Gusto one of the main areas, #foodforchange, is dedicated to the relationship between food and health, to overcome all forms of modern malnutrition: genuine famine that affects the poorest countries, the obesity epidemic, which has now spread to developing countries, and poor diets associated with eating poor-quality food, a worldwide problem.

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

To involve as many people as possible and get them to join the slow revolution that starts with food, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto has expanded and encouraged the involvement of the whole city. Including neighborhoods such as Mirafiori Sud, San Salvario, and San Pietro in Vincoli, which have involved a sometimes surprisingly active social fabric to organize a full schedule of events as part of the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto IN program.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

One cross-cutting commitment is to raise awareness of climate change, which is crystallized in the theme of the 2018 edition and in the global campaign Food for Change, which will be launched in Turin and will involve the Slow Food network all around the world. The organization and logistics of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto have been arranged so as to reduce CO2 emissions, while Slow Food still encourages visitors to come to the event sites by public transport.

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Microplastics are a scourge that is increasingly affecting the marine ecosystem. To reduce the volume of such plastics, the organizers have chosen to use during Terra Madre Salone del Gusto only biodegradable and compostable tableware and other products made from Mater-Bi®, cellulose pulp and PLA by Novamont, once again a Slow Food partner. Similarly, the Ricrea consortium reuses steel packaging to help reduce sea and ocean pollution.

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

Stands at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto are, once again, made from environmentally sustainable pallets supplied by Palm. Once the event has finished they will be returned to their originally intended use, logistics, by Lurisia, which will buy them to use in its warehouses. Palm Greenpallets® are PEFC and FSC-certified and made from fir and poplar from Italian forests that are managed according to strict environmental, social and economic standards.

Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

The application of SEeD at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 is analyzed and studied by a team of experts. After the event, a report will be drawn up to show to what extent sustainable development goals have been achieved and to further fine-tune organization of the 2020 event.

The “balance sheet” of the project is put together by six research units:

– The University of Gastronomic Sciences: the initiator and promoter of the project and responsible for scientific matters and coordination, in collaboration with Slow Food. The University of Gastronomic Sciences collaborates on the project with the Systemic Approach Foundation;

– University of Turin, “Omero” Interdepartmental Center of Urban Studies and Events Research studying how Terra Madre delegates are welcomed and public involvement;

– University of Turin, LabNET SAA School of Management analyzing social networks and the relational capital that Terra Madre Salone del Gusto creates and leaves behind;

– University of Turin, SAA School of Management in collaboration with Turismo Torino e Provincia measuring the economic impact on the local area and on the community;

– University of Turin, Department of Computer Science outlining the social capital of the network activated by the program of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto IN events;

– Design Politecnico di Torino studying the transmission of complex messages and the cultural value of the event.


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