FAO Director-General Praises Trend Toward Small-Scale Local Food Production

26 Mar 2013 --- Small-scale producers, local production and consumption circuits and recovering traditional crops have a major part to play in reducing hunger, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told professors and students at the University of Gastronomic Sciences yesterday, also noting the many possibilities of cooperation between FAO and the university to fulfil the vision of a hunger-free and sustainable world.

He said that the Green Revolution of the 1960s had increased per capita availability of food by over 40 percent, but at the cost of a loss of food diversity because of a focus on a few crops and significant impact on the environment from intensive use of chemical inputs.
But now there was a trend towards growing and marketing traditional foods, towards improving local infrastructure and markets and helping small-scale producers, all of which was good for the environment and the economy of rural areas, where hunger was worst, he said.
"Under-utilized crops ... can have a positive impact on food security," he said. "Recovering these crops is a way towards food security. It also means rediscovering lost flavors and identifying new ones. That is something that unites all of you to the poor farmers throughout the world," the Director-General told the audience. 
Graziano da Silva mentioned cassava in Africa and South America and quinoa in the Andes as food crops that were coming into their own, to the benefit of poor farmers and their families. He encouraged his audience to help spread the word about the International Year of Quinoa, being celebrated this year.
The University of Gastronomic Sciences was founded in 2004 by the Slow Food movement, headed by Carlo Petrini, who was in the audience. Slow Food works with FAO on a project that helps map food biodiversity in four African countries: Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The project has helped farmers bring traditional foodstuffs to market in developed countries through an annual event.
"This link to markets completes a virtuous circle: recover traditional crops, support local production and link them to markets, allowing for an increase in their income," said Graziano da Silva.
"Your interest in rediscovering different foods is a way to recognize the cultural value of food, a value that is often forgotten in today's globalized and fast world," added the FAO Director-General.

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

KEY INTERVIEW: Biospringer Takes Its Savory Yeast Extract Around the World for Global Appeal

25 Nov 2015 --- Following a rich history supplying the bakery and beer industry with yeast, French yeast specialist Biospringer turned its attentions to the business of yeast extraction on an industrial scale, supplying its extracts for bouillons and other savory solutions. Today it is a global market leader, with a manufacturing presence on four continents, realising its vision of ‘Local Presence, Global Strength’. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke to General Manager Edouard Gestat and Global Culinary Center Coordinator Hélène Le Caplain about recent global expansion and long-term trends.

Business News

New Health to-Go Concept Offers Convenient Fix

25 Nov 2015 --- Arla Foods Ingredients has launched Health to-Go, an innovative protein-rich ingredient solution that can be used to create convenient snack products that will appeal to the growing number of people living in urban areas.

Business News

Avebe Reports “Best Performance Price So Far” in 14/15

25 Nov 2015 --- In financial year 2014/2015 Cooperative Avebe achieved a performance price of 78.41 euros. This is the highest performance price achieved so far (2013/2014: 75.07 euros). The performance price combines the potato money paid to the members and the net result. That makes it the cooperative’s most important financial indicator.

Business News

Irish Food Companies Encouraged to Capitalise on Publicly-Funded Research

25 Nov 2015 --- Research, development and innovation have a key role to play in the sustainable development and competitiveness of the Irish food sector. Building and improving connections between companies and the universities and research institutions that are carrying out publicly-funded research can facilitate this – that’s the issue being discussed at a Teagasc symposium on technology transfer held in Dublin yesterday, 24 November.

Food Ingredients News

Consumers' Response to Food Safety Risks Altered on Prior Commitment and Preference

25 Nov 2015 --- With the globalization of our food supply, food safety issues are a major concern for both public health and for the food industry. Media and industry warn consumers of major recalls and problems with food items, but do consumers listen?

More Articles