Magazine article The Spectator

Globophobia

Magazine article The Spectator

Globophobia

Article excerpt

Farmers and gourmets from all over the world will be descending on Turin next month for the first 'slow food' conference. There will be nut-farmers from Brazil, yak-herders from Kyrgyzstan and raisin-farmers from Afghanistan, all gathered to celebrate and discuss traditional ways of cooking and eating. I am sure the menu in the canteen will be jolly good but don't let anyone fool themselves as to the true purpose of the slow food movement, which has been gaining much publicity in recent months and has signed up two British towns - Ludlow, Shropshire and Aylsham, Norfolk - to support its cause. The movement was founded in Italy in 1986 not to support yak-herders from Kyrgyzstan but to look after the interests of Italian farmers. Its manifesto does not hold out much hope for Third World farmers wishing to better themselves through agricultural enterprise.

The drive towards free trade must be reversed, it demands, so as to 'permit the use of trade tariffs and import quotas to regulate imports of food that can be produced locally. …

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