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Feature - issue #3

Rethinking Food Provision

Words by Clara Widdison

Combining food retail with education and community outreach, multifunctional food hubs aim to bring us together and make us active participants in the food system rather than just consumers.

This is an extract from Food For Thought. To read the full article click here.

At Fico Eataly World, a food-centric theme park outside the city of Bologna, Italy, a whole food system is squeezed under one very large roof. Fico looks, at first glance, like an indoor shopping centre with food outlets and stores running down each side of a bike path, which winds its way around the former wholesale market. Each unit showcases a different aspect of Italian food, some of which is made in front of visitors in the glass production kitchens onsite.

As well as watching the production process take place, visitors can walk among rows of grapevines growing outside, watch a cow being milked or see new forms of agritech being demonstrated. According to Sara Liparesi, the managing director of the site, the intention is to make visible the main food chains, such as cheese and meat, with visitors able to become part of the chain via interactive experiences, like bread-making workshops. By compressing the food chain Fico aims to increase understanding of food production in Italy among both Italians and foreign tourists, as well as help artisan producers reach consumers by closing the gap between them.

Fico Eataly World includes 40 farming factories, where visitors can discover all the steps of food production, recovering the direct and physical contact with what we eat.

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