“The agri-food industry is one of Italy’s sectors of excellence that generates innovation. It is a most important issue on our country’s foreign policy agenda, at the heart of an inclusive and sustainable development. This is why Italy persists with its commitment to promoting food security and fighting malnutrition. Expo Milan 2015 contributed to drawing international attention to these themes. It is also through strategic initiatives, such as ‘Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit’, that we join the international community in the search for innovative solutions to important food-related issues,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, today when presenting event to launch the next edition of “Seeds & Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit”. The event, which was held at the Farnesina at 11:00 a.m., was moderated by the Director General for Economic and Cultural Promotion and Innovation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), Vincenzo de Luca, and opened by Minister Alfano. The event’s agenda included remarks by the Undersecretary at the Office of the President of the Regional Council of Lombardy, Alan Rizzi , the Director of UNIDO ITPO Italia, Diana Battaggia, the Director General for Development Cooperation of MAECI, Giorgio Marrapodi, the Seeds & Chips Founder and Chairman, Marco Gualtieri, the President of the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy, Livia Pomodoro, HRH Princess Viktoria de Bourbon, who promotes the participation of young farmers to Seeds&Chips, the Director of the Department of Bio Agro-food Sciences of the National Research Centre (CNR), Francesco Loreto, the Director of ShareTheMeal, the first APP developed by the WFP to fight hunger in thge world, Massimiliano Costa, and the CEO of Robonica, Harald Cosenza.
Seeds&Chips, now at its 4th edition, showcases exhibitors, talents and cutting-edge solutions for the agri-food business from around the world. The initiative is a follow-up on the Expo Milan 2015, and it has become one of the flagship food events at global level. Seeds& Chips is designed to promote food innovation by bringing together the most important stakeholders of the food production chains, boosting communication, also by means of digital platforms, and promoting exchanges of information and knowledge, as well as opportunities to cooperate.
The event forms part of the action developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to support a quality agri-food sector and Italian best practices in the field. In particular, the Foreign Ministry has engaged in promotional actions comprising projects such as the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, that last year totalled nearly 1,400 events in 110 countries. They all contributed to tell the story of Italy’s agri-food sector by means of cultural events – conferences, art and design exhibits, concerts, tastings and film screenings.
Also in the area of development cooperation, Italy supports and promotes diversified farming practices respectful of local contexts and crops with a view to enhancing the wealth of local productions and to protecting biodiversity in partner Countries by concomitantly fostering an efficient and sustainable use of technologies necessary to improve productivity and to assure access to markets outlets also to small farmers.
The excellence of Italy’s agri-food sector, which accounts for over 132 billion euros of the Country’s economy, with exports of 40 billion euros, is acknowledged the world over. Suffice it to mention that Italy is the world leader in the field of Typical Geographical Indication (IGT) for both food, with 292 protected names, and wine, with 523 products labelled PDO/PGI/TSG. Moreover, Italy ranks second in Europe in terms of amount of farmland dedicated to organic farming, but ranks first in number of organic companies and is among the world leaders in food safety.