World Food Forum

The debate on the future of food after Expo? It starts off with the Emilia-Romagna model
5 august 2015

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Interview with Ruben Sacerdoti, Director of the Department for the Business Internationalisation, Emilia-Romagna Regional Government

Ruben Sacerdoti“Expo Milano 2015 will close on 31 October, but the debate on the future of food will not be completed after the six months of the exposition, since feeding the planet will still be the biggest challenge we have to face. That’s where the idea of the Forum originated from. And Emilia-Romagna, which very likely is the only Region in Europe where every section of the agro-industrial supply chain is represented at its best, provides the ideal scenario to make the best ot the Expo legacy and to reintroduce its topics globally”.
Ruben Sacerdoti, the director of the Department for the Business Internationalisation of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, has no doubt: the World Food Research and Innovation Forum, which will be officially launched on 22 and 23 September in the Italian Pavillion at Expo Milano 2015, will truly become the global platform where shared and effective initiatives for the future of food for the planet will be defined.
What makes Emilia-Romagna the ideal location for this platform?
“Even if it has a population of only four millions people, our region has characteristics which make it a unique location worldwide: agriculture, technology, mechanical and engine engineering, food processing plants, packaging, cold chain, food manufacturing, research, innovation, exhibitions and enterprises. Hence comes the ambition to overcome provincialism and launch an initiative as the World Food Research and Innovation Forum, which raises to a global level the challenges at the centre of the Expo debate: Safety, Security and Sustainability”.
How did you prepared for Expo? What was your roadmap?
“First of all, we took part in the works that have produced the Milan Charter: Emilia-Romagna Region had one representative sitting on every single discussion group. Then, we got the involvement of the EFSA, of the EU, of the Italian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Maurizio Martina. In the end, the choice to launch the Forum in September was not fortuitous. It has been made aiming to create a connection between Expo’s legacy and the Forum”.
In addition to hosting the Forum headquarters, can Emilia-Romagna represent a model in the debate on the food supply chain?
“By all means. A few weeks ago we have been in China with a regional delegation led by president Stefano Bonaccini to sign a strategic agreement with the Guangdong Province, tird in China as far as economic development and per capita income for its population (110 millions people) are concerned. The deal is the result of a years-long strategy and it puts our enterprises, which have made of food Safety theis raison d’être, on the front line as case studies for an area where food Safety is at the moment an absolute priority. A further  proof of the fact that our supply chain can be a worldwide model”.

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