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Episode 75: Experts meet in Melbourne to discuss global food challenges

Former US Secretary Of State John F. Kerry tours the Innovation Precinct at the Global Table conference at the Melbourne Showgrounds

Agricultural experts and business leaders are gathering in Melbourne to discuss future global food challenges. The Global Table event includes discussions about farming practices, climate change and food wastage.

SBS Italian news, with a slower pace. This is Slow Italian, Fast Learning, the very best of the week’s news, read at a slower pace, with Italian and English text available.

Italian

Il nostro pianeta deve affrontare la siccità e l’aumento delle temperature e rispondere alla domanda: come nutrire la popolazione in crescita?

I relatori più giovani alla conferenza Global Table di questa settimana hanno parlato della necessità di agire sull'attuale emergenza climatica.

Anche il 68esimo segretario di stato americano, John Kerry, ha partecipato al vertice di tre giorni.

Kerry stima che la popolazione mondiale salirà a nove miliardi nei prossimi 35 anni.

"So we have to obviously produce more food, we have to do it in better ways. We have produce foods now that can adapt to a changing planet. A lot of farmers can't grow things where they used to. A lot of crops that were once not susceptible to disease are now susceptible to it because the insects or whatever brings that disease doesn't die off because it doesn't get cold enough anymore."

Kerry ha sostenuto che i record delle temperature sono una prova sufficiente dell'esistenza del riscaldamento globale.

Ha esortato tutti a prendere provvedimenti per affrontare i cambiamenti climatici e gli sprechi alimentari.

"I mean think of the food that comes to your plates in various restaurants in different places that you go that goes back. We waste a third of the food we produce, we have to break this cycle."

Secondo l'organizzazione nazionale per gli aiuti alimentari, Foodbank Australia, gli sprechi alimentari costano all'economia miliardi di dollari.

L'amministratore delegato Brianna Casey sostiene che c’è cibo a sufficienza, ma che ne viene sprecato troppo.

"It is unfortunate that we have the sort cosmetic standards that we do that see those products rejected in some way. The good news for us is that organisations like Foodbank exist so that if a farmer unfortunately has to go through the process of having a product rejected, they do have an alternative avenue. The worst possible scenario would to see that product end up in landfill."

Un rapporto delle Nazioni Unite pubblicato il mese scorso ha ammonito che sono necessarie azioni immediate per migliorare la sostenibilità del sistema alimentare globale.

Secondo il rapporto, una dieta a base vegetale può aiutare a ridurre l'impronta di carbonio.

Questa scelta alimentare è una cosa per cui si battono molti animalisti, che vogliono sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sul veganismo.

Ma c'è una certa preoccupazione per le proteste dei vegani che bloccano il traffico e gli animalisti che accedono senza autorizzazione alle aziende agricole nell’ambito della loro campagna per evidenziare pratiche discutibili.

Alcuni sostenitori dei manifestanti hanno scritto ai relatori di un'indagine parlamentare sull'attivismo in merito ai tentativi di mettere a tacere le notizie sulla crudeltà nei confronti degli animali mentre il governo cerca di scoraggiare l'ingresso non autorizzato nelle aziende agricole.

Le associazioni di welfare hanno partecipato a un'audizione parlamentare a Melbourne questa settimana nell’ambito dell'indagine.

La ministra dell'agricoltura del Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, ha affermato che il vertice del Global Table non è correlato all'audizione degli animalisti.

"So whether you want to eat meat five days a week or you want to eat a plant based diet, I think we are absolutely privileged to have some of the best producers in the world right here in Victoria."

Nel Regno Unito, la tendenza al veganismo sta crescendo, secondo Thea Brook, che ha fondato un ristorante di fascia alta che crea alimenti a base vegetale per la consegna a domicilio.

"You've got sections to the vegan food market that are more about raw foods and health foods and then there's a lot of vegan junk food that's coming onto the market which people love."

La ministra Symes vorrebbe che i consumatori comprendessero il legame tra agricoltura e cibo.

"As the Minister for Agriculture I support any industry that grows their food here in Victoria, whether it's the horticultural industry or the livestock industry. That is what is fantastic about Victoria's reputation as a clean and green food producer."

L'evento Global Table si conclude venerdì 6 settembre.

English

The planet is battling drought, hotter temperatures and big questions about how to feed the growing population.

Young speakers at the Global Table conference this week spoke about the need to act on the current climate emergency.

The 68th U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also appeared at the three-day summit.

He estimates the world's population will swell to nine billion people over the next 35 years.

"So we have to obviously produce more food, we have to do it in better ways. We have produce foods now that can adapt to a changing planet. A lot of farmers can't grow things where they used to. A lot of crops that were once not susceptible to disease are now susceptible to it because the insects or whatever brings that disease doesn't die off because it doesn't get cold enough anymore."

Mr Kerry says heat records are enough proof of that global warming exists.

He has urged everyone to take steps to address climate change and food wastage.

I mean think of the food that comes to your plates in various restaurants in different places that you go that goes back. We waste a third of the food we produce, we have to break this cycle." 

The national food relief organisation, Foodbank Australia says food wastage is costing the economy billions of dollars.

The chief executive Brianna Casey argues enough food is being made, but too much is being thrown out.

"It is unfortunate that we have the sort cosmetic standards that we do that see those products rejected in some way. The good news for us is that organisations like Foodbank exist so that if a farmer unfortunately has to go through the process of having a product rejected, they do have an alternative avenue. The worst possible scenario would to see that product end up in landfill."

A United Nations report published last month warned immediate action is needed to improve the sustainability of the global food system.

It showed evidence that a plant based diet can help to lower the carbon footprint.

That food choice is something many animals activists are pushing for as they raise awareness about veganism.

But there has been some concern about vegan protests blocking traffic and animal activists trespassing onto farms as part of their campaign to highlight poor practices.

Some supporters of protesters have written to a parliamentary inquiry into activism about attempts to expose animal cruelty being silenced as the government tries to discourage unauthorised farm entry.

Welfare groups are presenting at a parliamentary hearing in Melbourne this week [WED] as part of the inquiry.

Victoria's Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes says the Global Table summit is unrelated to the animal activism hearing.

"So whether you want to eat meat five days a week or you want to eat a plant based diet, I think we are absolutely privileged to have some of the best producers in the world right here in Victoria."

In the U.K, the veganism trend is growing according to Thea Brook.

She founded a high-end restaurant that creates plant based foods for home delivery.

"You've got sections to the vegan food market that are more about raw foods and health foods and then there's a lot of vegan junk food that's coming onto the market which people love."

Minister Symes says she wants consumers to understand the link between farming and food.

"As the Minister for Agriculture I support any industry that grows their food here in Victoria, whether it's the horticultural industry or the livestock industry. That is what is fantastic about Victoria's reputation as a clean and green food producer."

The Global Table event continues until Friday September the 6th.

Story by Stephanie Corsetti for SBS News, translated and read by Marco Lucchi

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