Carlo Petrini: "Innovation has communities at the center"

8-09-2020 | News

Carlo Petrini © Ivo Corrà 2020

“Not one, but three crises: climate, economic and pandemic. And there is only one way out: sustainability ». That is how Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, reads the challenges of contemporaneity. "We need a paradigm shift," he warns speaking to US Techpark in Bolzano, the South Tyrolean technology park, where he received the "alumni" prize of the event Eckart Prize 2020. An opportunity to reflect on the new era of the agri-food sector, and beyond. "The stakes are very high and innovation will be fundamental in this phase of change, but beware, the purpose must always and only be one: the good of the communities" he warns. The risk? "Lead into an empty technocracy."

After all, his Slow Food was born in unsuspecting times, about thirty-five years ago, precisely for this reason: to promote "good, clean and fair" food and to relate, through daily practice, research and study, farmers , producers and artisans. "A cooperative dimension that today we must recover, putting it before that of mere competitiveness "says Petrini who, precisely following Covid-19, launched the appeal"Let's start from the earth”In favor of small producers, calling for a union between cooks and farmers as a fundamental lever for relaunching the catering sector, which has been hit hard by the health emergency.

The pandemic therefore represented, in a framework already weakened by the economic crisis and climate change, a turning point. An unexpected and at the same time unstoppable acceleration. «The time has come to work together, rediscovering the value of relationships. In this context, new technologies can help us, but they must not overwhelm us. For this reason, at the base of everything, there must be culture "reiterates the one who, in addition to Slow Food, is also the creator of the network of farmers of Earth mother, of the Cheese festival of Bra and of the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo. Education and information are, in fact, central to the restart, as well as the key to making good use of innovation: «We must not invent anything, but approach these issues with responsibility and sustainability. After all - he concludes - innovation is nothing more than a successful tradition ».

Silvia Pagliuca

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