Inspiration And Action (co-winner)

Carlo Petrini
Founder of Slow Food

Carlo Petrini founded Slow Food in 1986 as a response to the opening of a McDonald’s outlet in Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Today the movement exists in over 150 countries and has a network of over 100,000 members and supporters. Slow Food International is responsible for publishing periodicals, books, and guides in many languages around the world.

Since its “Puebla Declaration” in 2007, Slow Food has become a force to be reckoned with and probably the only international organization that integrates concerns about the environment, tradition, labour, health and animal welfare with real cooking, taste and pleasure.

Slow Food encourages and supports Indigenous peoples to uphold their food traditions as the custodians of irreplaceable inherited knowledge, in particular through the Presidia projects and the Terra Madre network of food communities. In 2011 the first Indigenous Terra Madre international forum was held and in May 2012 Petrini became the first guest speaker in history at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The Terra Madre network comprises 250 universities and research centers, including 450 individual academics throughout the world. All are committed, within their own fields and using the tools available to them, to further the preservation and growth of sustainable food production — through both public education and food-worker training.

The Slow Food Foundation operates around the world with projects to defend local food traditions, protect local biodiversity and promote small-scale quality products, with an increasing focus on the Global South. These projects help to protect small producers and to preserve the quality of artisan products from Tibetan cheese makers producing yak milk cheese at 4500 meters of altitude, nomadic fishermen on the Banc d'Arguin in Mauritania, small farmers in Bronte, Sicily who pick pistachio nuts by hand on the slopes of Etna, and the curadoras de semillas in Chile who still preserve the ancient breed of the blue egg chicken.

In October 2004, Petrini founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences, an international academic institution in Northern Italy that is the first university specifically devoted to studying the inextricable links between food and cultures.

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