Dear friends of Italian food and wine culture,
I would first like to convey the greetings of the entire Italian Government and of our Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and thank all of those who have worked to realize this Week of Italian Cuisine in the World. This is an annual event now marking its VII edition, to which I wished to offer my own personal acknowledgements for its role in the service of our Country’s culture and agro-food production, by participating in its inauguration at our Foreign Ministry together with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani.
In my capacity as Minister for Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forests, it is my duty to protect the products of our Mediterranean Diet and shield them from the standardization of the industrial model, centered on quantity to the detriment of quality.
At a time when we are facing the long wave of consequences of the pandemic, from the crisis in Ukraine to the energy and food crisis, we must have the courage to set the groundwork for a sustainable and inclusive future for our invaluable basic agro-food production sector.
We must put the focus on our relationship with farmers, valorize the short supply chain, promote fresh, rather than ultra-processed products. In brief, we should aim for a food system that is truly sustainable and healthy:
– sustainable, as an alternative to industrial food production that is wasteful in terms of water and energy;
- healthy, as it is based on the Mediterranean Diet, recognized by UNESCO as Heritage of Humanity and attested by the strongest scientific literature supporting its effective health benefits.
The Mediterranean Diet is indeed based on organic foods, on their protected quality, reduced degree of processing and production methods that are handed down from generation to generation, ensuring the completeness of their nutritional value.
We must commit ourselves to proposing with determination food education at every level, avoiding simplistic solutions that have proven to be inadequate and misleading, besides being market-distorting. This is the case of what is known as “Nutriscore” and of other mechanisms that confuse consumers, rather than inform them so that they may be able to make their own free, conscious choices, suited to their own diets.
It is my hope that those of you who are participating in the celebratory events of Italian Cuisine Week and share the objectives of our Diet will want to embark upon a journey with us, that is not only related to food and culture, but is also a journey that is social, environmental and ultimately safeguards our health.
Thank you and have a good Week of Italian Cuisine in the World.[Viva L’Italia!]