On 18 June 2015, the enchanting countryside of Valdera (Pisa, Italy) was seat of an interesting international meeting, focussed on the role of food as element of the European cultural heritage (CH) and aimed at discussing how the changes within our society may have an impact on the wine & food traditions of a territory.
The meeting was organised by Promoter SRL, leading company in the ICT, research, communication and digitisation of CH sectors managed by Dr Antonella Fresa, coordinator of numerous European projects.
The meeting took place in the framework of RICHES, ambitious research EU-funded project, coordinated by Coventry University together with Promoter SRL, investigating the relationship between culture and society. In particular a case study, centred on the relationship between food and territories, is currently underway on a European level, in order to understand how to realise social and economic development through the promotion of typical products, traditional cultivations and the discovery of foods from other countries we are coming in closer and closer contact with.
Prof. Moya Kneafsey (Food, Local Development and Human Geography), Prof. Ernest Taylor (Tourism Management) and Prof. Neil Forbes (lecturer of International Contemporary History as well as general coordinator of RICHES) from Coventry University (UK) intervened. The three scholars exchanged visions in a fascinating debate with Dr Tiziana Nadalutti, expert of agricultural science and operating for more than twenty years for the safeguard and promotion of environment and sustainable farming, and Dr Monica Zoppè, researcher at Pisa’s CNR and interested in themes of environment protection, food and landscape as well. Nadalutti and Zoppè are involved in “Consiglio del Cibo” (“Food Council”), project for an interdisciplinary plan by the University and the province of Pisa, first round table of its kind in Italy; the project aims to structure in a democratic form the relation between citizens looking for a healthy and sustainable diet, public interest and privates’ prerogatives.
During the afternoon Prof Marcello Buiatti too, lecturer of Genetics at Florence’s University and expert in ethics and environment, joined the debate in a teleconference.
Results of the workshop will merge into a public document about the relation between food, culture, identity and sense of belonging in a multicultural context. The document will constitute the ground for a policy brief by the RICHES project, addressed towards the European Commission.
Further information on RICHES are available online at www.riches-project.eu.