Alessandra Roversi, well-known food public relations, communication and policy professional, joined Professor Marina Curran in her Business Responsibility and Sustainability Masters class on Thursday, 19th March. A lively and enthusiastic speaker about her subject matter – food – Ms Roversi highlighted the CSR issues are in the food sector today.
This enterprising lady is currently working with the city of Geneva helping them to promote their goods for the Milan Expo 2015 where the theme of this expo is a relevant on e- “Feeding the Planet”. A very important topic in a world filled with uncertainty with regards to our food and water sustainability and use.
Ms Roversi invited us into the complex world of food. She informed us of the need to think about production, transportation and consumption of food and all that it entails. We discovered the range of subjects we need to think about. Soil, water, GMOs, herbicides, land grabbing, fish stocks, erosion, trade agreements, pollution, urbanization and the list goes on and on.
We heard about population growth and the problem of food shortages. We wondered how to make agriculture more attractive to young people – 70% of farmers are more than 35 years of age. Who is going to produce the food we need in the future? What about the problem for women who marry farmers?
Slow Food Movement
Hearing about different food systems including the Slow Food Movement made us all wonder and question the way we think! The Slow Food Movement was founded by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists in the 1980s with the initial aim of defending regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life. And this movement has really taken off; it is now present in 130 countries and has 100,000 members.
This movement believes that our food network system is broken – enough food is being produced at the moment but we have hunger and poverty, obesity and wastage. Something is not working.
We need to think differently, to act differently. Everyone needs to be involved and concerned about these issues – consumers, farmers, politicians, business and producers.
Lausanne Farmers Market
On a local level in Switzerland we could change the way we think too. “Why” Ms Roversi asked “are farmers market open on days when a lot of people work?” And, yes indeed, I thought, what a great question!! I never get to buy at the farmers market in Lausanne on Wednesdays because I am always working! Why not have the market on Thursdays from 16.00 onwards.
A revolutionary idea…perfect for the modern world we live in today.
Understanding systems, thinking deeply, and connecting the dots – we did it all this morning. Thank you, Alessandra Roversi, you have helped us understand our complex world a little more.
Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin, BCL, LL.M, Solicitor