Democracy and participation, Environment

Food biodiversity: eat it to save it! community award


Who is behind this?

Marina Mainardi

Slow Food


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Preserving food biodiversity means preserving the planet, our cultures, local economies and the wellbeing of future generations. At EU level, no progress has been made towards reaching the goals of the Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. We ask citizens to engage in a participatory advocacy action to save EU agrobiodiversity by identifying traditional forgotten foods and by asking decision makers at national and European level to save these products.

Why does Europe need your idea?

Agrobiodiversity is under threat. Since the 1900s, some 75% of plant genetic diversity has been lost as farmers worldwide have left their multiple local varieties and landraces for genetically uniform, high-yielding varieties. 30% of livestock breeds are at risk of extinction; six breeds are lost each month. Today, 75% of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and five animal species .Of the 4% of the 300,000 known edible plant species, only 150 to 200 are used by humans.

What is your impact?

We aim to raise awareness on the relevance of preserving a living agrobiodiversity as a common good that a cohesive Europe must defend. By recording traditional foods on the Ark of Taste online catalogue, citizens demonstrate a clear commitment towards biodiversity and can in turn demand a concrete engagement of decision makers on the issue. In the long term, this engagement could be translated into policy proposals by national governments and European institutions.

How do you get there?

The large network of Slow Food's volunteers and followers (about 1,000,000 in the world and 100,000 in Europe) will be invited to identify products at risk of extinction, record them on the Ark of Taste catalogue and contact elected representatives to act to save agrobiodiversity. The following tools will be provided: a publication on agrobiodiversity and one on the Ark of Taste campaign; an online form and a printed postcard to nominate the products; a mailing list of members of the European Parliament.
The communication material will be published in a dedicated section of the Slow Europe website ( The initiative will be spread also through social media and the Slow Foundation Food for biodiversity website (monthly average: 100.000 visits).

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

The advocacy campaign will directly target European citizens making them aware of the importance of agrobiodiversity, empowering them to participate directly in the EU policy making by advocating for agrobiodiversity. We will provide tools so that citizens can directly engage with decision makers at national and EU level.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Starting with a daily and tangible theme - the food we eat - the project intends to underline the manifold dimensions of over exploitation of natural resources and biodiversity loss - not only as regards varieties and species but also including craftsmanship and traditional cooking techniques - and the ties between them, climate change, food sovereignty and development, advocating for a strong commitment of decision makers at EU level.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 100000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Internal staff: 75000 EUR Subcontracting: 5000 EUR Communication tools (publications, promotional materials, translations in EU languages): 20000 EUR



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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