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Sustainability and Food Policies
 
The students and discussion leaders of the Advanced School in Sustainability and Food Policies – an online course organized by the University of Gastronomic Sciences and led by distinguished international experts – invited the food communities of Terra Madre to discuss and complete the document Sustainability and Food Policies, formulated in the eight working groups of the course. An updated version was presented at the closing session of Terra Madre on October 24, while the final document will be published on December 10 on the occasion of the Terra Madre Day. It will subsequently be sent to governments, local administrators, companies, NGOs and international institutions interested in adopting the proposals. The work will contain guidelines for implementing new food policies in the light of the latest analyses on ecological, economic and social sustainability.

The Earth Workshops providing material for the Sustainability and Food Policies document were held on Friday October 22 at 10 am. They were divided into eight subject areas corresponding to the issues addressed in the course run by the Advanced School in Sustainability and Food Policies.

Room A
Social systems and transformations
Discussed historical questions about the production, distribution and consumption of food since 1492, within the development of class-structured societies and in relation to different geopolitical scales: the body, home/family, community, city, region, nation and world/global.
The discussion was moderated by:
Raj Patel, writer, food policy expert, lecturer at the KwaZulu-Natal University of South Africa.
Serge Latouche, Professor Emeritus of Economic Science at the University of Paris-Sud, is a specialist in economic and cultural North-South relations and epistemology in the social sciences. He is a supporter of convivial de-growth and localism.

Room B
Energy and systemic productions
The discussion was focused on understanding what actions stakeholders must take in the field of energy and systemic production.
The discussion was moderated by:
Angelo Consoli, is the director of Jeremy Rifkin's Europe Office in the Foundation on Economic Trends and is the president and founder of CETRI-TIRES (European Association for the Third Industrial Revolution).

Room C
Biodiversity and ecosystems
Understanding the functions of biodiversity within the ecological realm as the basis for providing information that helps farmers and policy-makers bring about a more sustainable agricultural model.
The discussion was moderated by:
Marcello Buiatti, Professor of Genetics at the University of Florence and President of the Foundation for a Sustainable Tuscany. As an Italian delegate to the European Community, he has directed a number of scientific programs and projects and has been involved in many international activities related to bioethics and epistemology.

Room D
Goods, exchanges and shared resources
The workshop investigated the relationship between ethics and the economy, the shared responsibility of producers and consumers and the construction of a new concept of quality for food, environment and people.
The discussion was moderated by:
Stefano Zamagni, Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna and Adjunct Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University (Bologna Center). President of the Italian Agency for Non-Profit Organizations.

Room E
Law, rights, and policies
In this workshop the discussion was focused on the legal implications underpinning food policies and on the promotion of a human rights-based approach in developing and implementing such policies.
The discussion was moderated by:
Christoph Spennemann, Legal Expert at UNCTAD's Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development (DITE) with a specific focus on intellectual property rights, technology transfer and development.
Daniele Giovannucci, co-founder and executive director of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), a global consortium of institutions and United Nations agencies that works towards the development of innovative methodologies for environmental and social evaluation standards and of different approaches to sustainability.

Room F
Sustainable education
This workshop focused on the key issues identified by the group as crucial to sustainable education, such as its characteristics, methods, actors, co-actors and priorities, with specific reference to the subject of food choices.
The discussion was moderated by:
Manfred Max-Neef, economist and environmentalist, renowned for his theories of development based on fundamental human needs. He is a member of the World Future Council.

Room G
Traditional knowledge, gender, and immaterial values
The relationship between food, gender and intangible heritage was discussed. Food was considered as the key to thinking about and discussing the protection and promotion of traditional knowledge belonging to the cultural and production systems of local communities.
The discussion was moderated by:
Vandana Shiva, activist, scientist, Slow Food Vice-President and President of the International Commission for the Future of Food and Agriculture. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a movement in defense of biodiversity and native agriculture.
Carlo Petrini, founder and President of Slow Food, also conceived of the worldwide Terra Madre network.

Room H
Pleasure and well-being
This workshop aimed to broaden the issue of sustainable food pleasure when it comes to diet and well-being: How can we define a sustainable diet? What role is played by governments, institutions and policies? An attempt to outline an educational system aimed at sustainable taste awareness.

The Advanced School in Sustainability and Food Policies runs from July 19 to October 25 2010 and is coordinated by Professor Andrea Pieroni, UNISG, and Cinzia Scaffidi, Director of the Slow Food Study Center. The online course will produce a document for each area containing guidelines for implementing new food policies in the light of the latest analyses on ecological, economic and social sustainability.
 
 
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