The Terra Madre network was launched by Slow Food to give a voice and visibility to the small-scale farmers, breeders, fishers and food artisans whose approach to food production protects the environment and communities. The network brings them together with academics, cooks, consumers and youth groups so that they can join forces in working to improve the food system.
The term food community refers to a group of these small-scale producers, defined by a place of origin and reflecting a new idea of ‘local economy’ based on food, agriculture, tradition and culture. More than 2,000 Terra Madre food communities have been formed around the world.
The first world meeting of Terra Madre food communities was held in 2004 in Italy, and brought together 5,000 producers from 130 countries. The second edition in 2006 grew to include participation from 1,000 cooks, aware of their important role in supporting local, quality production, as well as 400 researchers and academics, seeking to bridge the theory of their work with hands-on knowledge. In 2008, 1,000 young producers, cooks, students and activists from around the world joined the network to show their commitment to ensuring traditions and agricultural wisdom is handed from one generation to the next.
National and regional Terra Madre networks have grown from the grassroots level and are working with Slow Food convivia to increase the capacity of local communities to provide good, clean and fair food. National Terra Madre meetings have been organized in many countries including Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Armenia. Indigenous Terra Madre brought together representatives of indigenous peoples in Sweden in 2011 and will meet again in India in 2014.
A wide variety of activities at the local level focus on sharing information and promoting better approaches to food production: from a group of South American academics working to promote eco-agriculture to an exchange between Ugandan and Kenyan farming communities or a bicycle tour of local small-scale farms in Canada.
Through these activities to strengthen and defend local food cultures, the Terra Madre family is growing everyday, making the Slow Food concept of good, clean, and fair reality.
Visit the website for more information, to find food communities in your region, or find out about upcoming events: www.terramadre.org