Last weekend I headed to Torino for the international show, Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre. One of the largest in the world, the show happens every two years and is organized by Slow Food. It is estimated that over the five days there were 220,000 visitors, 16,000 participants at 56 conferences, and 8,000 students not to mention 1,000 exhibitors from 100 countries. Needless to say it was a little overwhelming.
Artisanal producers and small-scale farmers, who follow the principles of good, clean, and fair, from every corner of the world showcased their dedication to food and quality, and respect for the environment. Tasting workshops, classes, conferences, and seminars with the world’s top chefs and high profile figures further showcased the event’s theme, “Foods that change the world.”
Of course, I am a strong proponent of eating good, wholesome foods, sustainability, and supporting local growers. More than ever it is important to understand what you eat, where it comes from, and how it affects your body and the environment. My interest, however, lies in those small producers, the ones that produce really great products with passion but that have no platform for getting their products out to a larger audience. One of the great things about Italy is the number and high quality of artisanal and traditional products. Competition in this area is steep but each product has something different to offer. Fortunately (and perhaps even naively) I believe there is room for everyone. It’s all a matter of finding the niche and giving the producers the voice and platform to showcase what they have. And this is hopefully something I can help them with! Business with a purpose. What a concept.