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Cia at Expo: six months of commitment to value the land and restore centrality to farmers

Building a new universal awareness around food, agricultural and environmental issues to restore centrality to farmers and value the land.

This is the commitment that the Cia-Confederazione italiana agricoltori takes on and brings forward at Expo 2015. Six months of initiatives, proposals, and events that substantiate the overall CiainExpo project built on four fundamental axes: biodiversity, international cooperation, the affirmation of multi-role agriculture, and the exaltation of identities in order to build a global network that stands as an alterative to globalization understood as homogenization. With an ambition that is also a programmatic commitment: to propose the Italian model of multifunctional agriculture as a direction for sustainable development.

The national president of Cia – Dino Scanavino – moreover well pointed out yesterday in Bologna during the press conference presenting the activities of the Biodiversity Park of which Cia is the main partner, how the protection and enhancement of Italian biodiversity (a unique heritage in the world given that our country in one thirtieth of the European surface hosts 30 percent of the species animals and 50 percent of continental plant species ) through also the increase of organic crops of which Italy has the leadership is the best answer to the global challenge that the food future poses “in terms of food security and sustainable development that cannot disregard the preservation and evolution of agricultural biodiversity.” Equally Dino Scanavino indicated – at the conclusion of the path that Cia has taken with “The Territory as Destiny” – Cia’s contribution to the Milan Charter as the “proposition of a world and a model where farmers are protagonists capable of triggering processes that are more integrated with the environment, tourism, culture, welfare, between city and country, between producers and consumers” to counter the rise of a model in which there are no farmers but only “an agriculture handed over to food multinationals, financial companies and investment funds.”

If giving value to the land is the head line of the CiainExpo project the programmatic commitment is to restore social, economic and cultural centrality to farmers. From Cia starts the invitation to the national, European and global agricultural and agrifood system to build a new agricultural Renaissance precisely according to the idea that in the late 15th century animated that authentic cultural revolution that was the Italian Renaissance capable of influencing all of Europe. With Marsilio Ficino we could repeat “matter does not have the strength in itself to give itself form, for this to happen it is necessary for matter to encounter the soul and when this happens the manifestation of the encounter is beauty and the measure of beauty is quality.” The material is the natural, the soul is the human intellect that becomes the fruitful and shrewd work of the fields, the beauty is our agrarian landscapes but also the strength of our rural communities, and the quality is the primacy of Italian production and gastronomy. And that is what the CIA offers to the world as a good and sustainable model for balanced and planet-friendly development. In essence: it is agriculture that once again becomes the prime mover of a good world.

The whole CiainExpo project is aimed at proposing and meeting this challenge, which is cultural even before being economic.

In fact, Cia’s presence at the Universal Exposition in Milan is substantiated by the proposition of production models, cultural initiatives, enhancement of products also through gastronomy, emphasis on agricultural protagonism, and openness to international cooperation also as a response to the political and economic crises that are dramatically crossing our contemporary times.

To do this, the CIA has fielded a well-rounded program.

The spaces – There are two key locations that Cia is developing at Expo: the Italian Pavilion where the National Confederation of Farmers will be the protagonist of numerous events and six days, one per month, dedicated to the crucial issues that Cia intends to propose and where Cia’s representative office is also located; and the Biodiversity Park set up by Bolognafiere of which Cia is main partner and where Cia’s operations desk is located.

The six Cia days – One day a month for six months to unravel the issues that substantiate the CiainExpo program. It starts on May 5 with “Youth: the nursery to grow the country” is continued on June 18 with “Water and land: The Future in the Hands of Farmers”; on July 24, the theme will be “Biodiversity between Culture and Knowledge, the Heritage of Farmers and Consumers”; on August 28, “Successful Strategies for an Agriculture that Looks to Markets” will be drawn; on Sept. 9, the focus will be on innovation with “Research and Innovation for the Agriculture of the Future” while on Oct. 29, two days before the closing of Expo and the official delivery of the Milan Charter that Cia will largely contribute to writing, the Italian Farmers Confederation meets in its national assembly at Expo to “value the land and our farmers.” Concurrently with the six days there will be as many cultural offerings.

Biodiversity – Cia has always made the defense of biodiversity and the spread of organic crops the qualifying point of its action. At Expo 2015, Cia is the main partner of the Biodiversity Park, which, born from the collaboration between Expo, Bologanafiere, Mipaaaf, the Ministry of the Environment and Federbio, presents itself with a theater and two pavilions where to enhance Italian environmental, agricultural and agri-food excellences through a path that tells the story of the evolution and preservation of agricultural biodiversity. In this context, Cia will present products and companies witnessing biodiversity and organic cultivation, give numerous practical demonstrations throughout the 6 months thanks to the efforts of Cia members, offer its products through the Biorestaurant and the Bio Store, and make the story telling of its member companies the story of positive biodiversity. Of particular significance within these initiatives is the presentation of the Docufilm BIORESISTENZE. A highly articulated project that was carried out by Cia in collaboration with Mipaaf. Bioresistenze was conceived curated and filmed by Guido Turus and is a series of interviews that were filmed throughout Italy with agricultural entrepreneurs and witnesses of excellence to document and narrate an agriculture that has incorporated the concept of the limit and works for the commons. An agriculture that is not only economic action but also a practice of resistance to forms of illegality, to both cultural and food homogenization, to the violence with which natural resources are treated and managed, and to the disappearance of biodiversity. Bioresistances will be screened on October 29, 2015 during the last Cia day (the one dedicated to the national assembly) at the Auditorium of Padiglione Italia.

Partnerships – Cia’s presence at Expo is also marked by very important and decisive partnerships. In partnership with the European Union, a conference on “Soil Fertility and Climate Change, the Role of Farmers” takes place on June 20. On October 14, in partnership with the CNR, underscoring the Confederation’s longstanding commitment to international cooperation, the event, “The case of Lake Chad: a reservoir of food and water between environmental disaster and international cooperation, what possible contribution from the Italian system?” will be held. On Oct. 16, in collaboration with Confagricoltura and World Farmers’ Organization, the event “G140 of Farmers in Expo” is held, involving farmers from all countries present at Expo 2015; finally, Cia will participate from June 24 to 26 as a member and co-organizer in the General Assembly of the World Farmers’ Organization.

Italy Pavilion – Qualified the presence of Cia in Italy Pavilion with collateral activities at the six-day event. Specifically, in the start-up space, 25 case histories of 25 young Agia-Cia members will be presented during the six-month Expo, who will tell their stories through their ideas and businesses (Start Up Space). Maximum focus on female entrepreneurship with the presentation of 25 stories of successful women entrepreneurs associated with Donne in Campo-Cia. Particularly innovative is the Agricatering project that won the We Women For Expo (Women’s Space) women’s entrepreneurship competition. In the last week of May (May 24-31), Cia’s Educational Farms in Italy Square will meet families and children in the Lab Space in Italy Pavilion and on the third floor of Palazzo Italia. The project is by the Green Tourism Association-CIA.

The cultural proposal – Cia in Expo also and above all means declining the elaboration of programmatic platforms, the presentation of companies with a show and cultural proposal capable of substantiating the idea of agriculture as a way of life and elaboration. And there are plenty of signature Cia events. Of Bioresistance has already been mentioned, the events that will mark the six days of Cia in Expo should be highlighted, namely: Agriculture and & Design, Eating is Sacred by Natalia Saurin a project on food, territory and the origins of man; the Agricatering project, the live performance “Street art Food” with street artists who will paint in real time, Green in the health aesthetic function and green urban infrastructure by Promoverde who will make an installation of vertical green, the photo exhibition 100 of agriculture. And then again on July 24 the screening of the film “La Nostra Terra” on August 28 the popular music concert with pizzica and taranta and on October 29 with a short excerpt of the play “tutto quello che sto per dirvi è falso” by Tiziana di Masi.

Cia’s Fuorisalone – Attention to food and wine in a unique fuori salone designed and produced by Cia with the AGRICHEF. This is a traveling event that is the “First Italian Farmhouse Festival.” In essence, Agrichef in Expo over the six-month period will make rural Italian cuisine known through the exchange between fifty agritourisms that stand around the Expo area which will host other agritourisms on weekends that will bring their gastronomic wisdom to Expo. To these the Cia will award the Agrichef prize.

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