Delegates from 13 countries will take part in the fourth edition of Terra Madre Balkans, being held this year June 2 – 5 in Tirana, Albania.“Putting Farmers First” is the main theme of Terra Madre Balkans 2016. 350 delegates will be arriving from 13 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, The Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Albania).

While there will be around 200 Albanian farmers that will present their best produce and recipes that make our cuisine and our products so unique. The central Mother Teresa Square will host an Earth Market, where over 50 booths will give visitors the chance to discover a wide selection of products from food communities, Slow Food Presidia, and the Ark of Taste, Slow Food’s catalogue of the world’s food biodiversity. The event will offer a series of conferences and debates focusing on multifunctional agriculture, legal rights of small producers, social justice, rural tourism, the marketing of craft products, taking into account the EU integration standards.

Albania was chosen for this year’s edition of Terra Madre Balkans because its Slow Food network is steadily and rapidly growing. The country has 22 products registered in the Slow Food Ark of Taste – the catalogue of endangered food products, two Slow Food Presidia (Permet Gliko, and Mishavin – a cheese made by transhumant herders from upper Kelmendi, in the Albanian Alps), five Slow Food Convivia (local chapters), and hundreds of supporters. Moreover, the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance was launched in Albania in May 2015. The event is realized in the framework of the ESSEDRA project, co-funded by the European Union with the aim of supporting the process of European integration for Balkan countries and Europe through a strengthening of civil society and its capacity to influence policies and promote sustainable models of rural development./AgroWeb.org