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Cia “writes” Milan Charter with the work of 900,000 farmers: let them be the focus of Expo

National President Dino Scanavino: It must be the document that delivers the legacy of the World Expo to the world in the form of a “protocol of agricultural dignity.” We will propose to the Council that all our members join the Milan Charter, to make the weight and voice of those who work, fertilize and defend the land heard.

With three days to go before the opening of Expo, there is a real risk that farmers, the real protagonists of the millennium challenge “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” will end up in the background. For this reason, the Cia today in the Lombard capital, where the last session for the drafting of the “Milan Charter” was held at the State University, strongly raised the issue of the centrality of farmers.

Confederation national president Dino Scanavino makes an appeal that is also a denunciation: “We would not want the magnitude of the Expo event and an excess of media exposure not on the issues of food resources, but of food and wine, to make people forget that without the work of the fields we cannot feed the planet or generate energy for life.” The Cia, he stressed, “intends to use the Expo to put at the center everything that constitutes agriculture: from traditions to technology, from international cooperation-which in the agricultural field should be read today almost as a ‘peacekeeping’ action-to the defense and enhancement of biodiversity, and to create real protocols for common action with all the world’s farmers on these issues. Convinced as we are that it is the defense and promotion of agricultural labor that will allow Expo to mark an epochal turning point for the world. Italy, after all, has placed its agricultural model based on biodiversity, quality, the cultural and anthropological value of producing in agriculture, and the sustainable development that stems from agricultural practice as the first pillar of the Expo, and this we must pour into the Milan Charter. This is our commitment.”

In today’s proceedings in Milan, after all, Dino Scanavino’s words resonated strongly. From Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina, who said how the Milan Charter should be a document of “global citizenship” to Salvatore Veca, scientific coordinator of Laboratorio Expo and editor of the Charter, who reiterated how the Universal Exposition is “a dress rehearsal of the future” to Marta Dassù and Livia Pomodoro who reiterated that “there is no food without rights and in particular the right of women,” all agreed that the Milan Charter should be the document that delivers the legacy of Expo to the world in the form of a “protocol of agricultural dignity.” And this is where Cia is focusing its planning efforts, its program and its presence at Expo.

Cinzia Pagni -vicarious vice president of Cia- emphasized that “Cia’s contribution to the Milan Charter is summed up by the work we did with ‘Territory as Destiny.’ It was a deep reconnaissance of the agricultural world from which we brought out four strengths: the first is the role of multifunctional agriculture that becomes not only food production but the protection of biodiversity and the environment, the preservation and promotion of rural culture, the reversal of the city-country relationship by assigning the rural environment the primacy of elaborating sustainable lifestyles and production models; the second the construction of short supply chains in which the value chain is totally agricultural; the third the role of agriculture as an activator of research and innovation but within a framework of sustainability; and the fourth the role of agriculture and therefore of the agricultural entrepreneur as a protagonist of a more equitable society and a world where quality of life and quality of the environment are inseparable.”

These are the themes that “Territory as Destiny” has fine-tuned in a series of meetings, studies and in-depth studies that have served as a contribution to the Milan Charter in which, Cia President Dino Scanavino said again, “we want it to emerge how the construction of the future cannot be a world without farmers, an agriculture handed over to food multinationals, financial companies and investment funds, but a world with ‘plural’ agricultures and with farmers who are more protagonists, capable of triggering processes that are more integrated with the environment, tourism, culture, welfare, between city and country, between producers and consumers.”

For this reason, Pagni anticipated, “as early as Monday at the National Council we will propose that all 900,000 Cia farmers sign the Milan Charter, to make the weight and voice of those who work the land, fertilize it and defend it heard.”

Armed with these values, Cia farmers are among the main protagonists at the Expo where the debut of the Confederation’s initiatives will take place on May 5 with the first of six Cia in Expo days dedicated to young farmers. The theme chosen is “Youth: the nursery to be cultivated to grow the country,” and one will discover how young engineers, economists, even mathematicians have chosen to realize their life’s desire through the work of the fields just as one will discover in “Agriculture and Welfare” how the perception of agricultural value is today in contemporary society the only resource of harmony for humans. These will also be the topics at the center of the Cia Young Farmers Assembly focused on the proposal “Nursery of Business, Nursery of Ideas” precisely to give substance to the multifunctional and sustainable agriculture that is at the heart of Cia’s contribution to the Milan Charter. The other central theme is that of biodiversity and organic farming as the only viable proposition for fair and healthy food. This is why Cia is the main partner of Biodiversity Park, which tells the world about the peculiarity of Italian agriculture: that of being the enhancement of territorial peculiarities. So an agriculture that is yes universal but not homogenized, that is yes global because the food issue concerns the future of the world but that does not allow shortcuts with respect to the protection of environmental quality. This is what the 900,000 farmers of the Cia write in the Milan Charter as a promise for the future and a daily commitment.

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