Slow Food

Italian Presidia Estates-General Open In Sicily

Italy - 12 May 05

The Estates-General of Slow Food’s Italian presidia will open at 3pm today under the auspices of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity and the Sicily Regional Authority Agriculture and Forestries Department, with the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestries and the Minister of Arts and Culture, and the support of the Sicily Regional Authority Culture Department.

The event, to be held at a number of different venues in the Nebrodi Mountains in Sicily (one of the richest parts of Italy in terms of biodiversity), will be attended by over 400 producers, university researchers, local authorities from all over Italy, functionaries of the Ministries of Health and Agriculture and Forestries, and technicians from the Sicily Regional Authority Agriculture and Forestries Department.

The aim of the meetings will be to launch a large-scale campaign to protect quality artisan food products in danger of extinction.

The opening ceremony, which will be staged against the spectacular backdrop of the Greek temple of Tyndaris near the town of Patti (Messina) will feature speeches by Gianni Alemanno, Minister of Agriculture and Forestries, Salvatore Cuffaro, President of the Sicily Regional Authority, Innocenzo Leontini, Regional Spokesman for Agriculture, and Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food.

The three-day event will include seminars on the problems of the sector: from sanitary standards and norms to the protection of denominations of control, from sustainable breeding and growing techniques to support for small-scale fishing. On Sunday, finally, a special market of the products of Sicily’s presidia and ‘food communities’ will be held in Capo d'Orlando.

Sicily boasts as many as 32 Slow Food Presidia and possesses a unique food heritage.

A detailed program pf the Estates-General is available on