Educational tour to Italy #1


The educational tour of partners from Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova under the “School Garden” project to Italy took place from 12 to 20 November. During this time, the trip participants were able to visit Grosseto Export, OL.MA, CORTONA- LE CAPEZZINE, FICO, John Paul II Foundation (JPIIF).

The first place where the project partners went was Grosseto Export, a non-profit consortium, operating since 1974 in the province of Grosseto. It performs advertising services and various events for associated companies in the food and non-food sectors.

The main activities of the Consortium are participation in major international fairs, promotion of partners' products in large international supermarkets, organization of B2B events, accommodation of retailers and importers from major foreign markets.

The next object of attention was the company OL.MA, located in the Toscana landscape, in the beautiful Maremma area. It produces and carefully selects its best oils, the result of thousands of years of work by all those farmers who continue to be part of the strong oil tradition of this territory. The essence of the enterprise is that, thanks to high-tech equipment, farmers can process olives, grown on their plots, get top-class oil, and, further, can and dispense oil into tare under their own brand for further sale.

Today, OL.MA is a modern structure that is capable to maximize the combination of traditional advertising technology, which is the part of the modern market, and further improved by introducing production.

It was useful for the participants of the trip to visit the professional Agro Institute “CORTONA-LE CAPEZZINE”, where they could see the presentation of the institute, an overview of their work, programs, equipment, technologies, and meet with teachers and students.

State Institute of Higher Education "A. Vegni", better known as the Capezzini Institute, was founded 129 years ago.  Today it remains an excellent resource for its territory and offers many opportunities for young people, who want to start their university or working path in agriculture, and especially in the agriculture, agro-food or agro-industrial sector, as well as in the field of tourism or tourism and hospitality.

The institute can be trained in three specialties: agricultural machinery (“Environment and land management”, “Food processing, winemaking and viticulture”); professional services in agriculture and rural development; the sphere of the food system with the possibility of confectionery production and tourist hospitality, since September - an evening course for obtaining a professional diploma of a hotelier.

The trip participants were able to visit small farmers and get acquainted with their business, equipment, technology, business solutions; meet with community leaders, manufacturers in partnership with the institute “le capezzine” as an example of rural development and self-organization.

An important meeting was with the partner of the “School Garden” project - the John Paul II Foundation’s director and staff, the presentation of the Foundation's experience with a focus on activities for rural communities (agriculture, small business, social, etc.).

It was memorable to visit FICO, the only permanently held Agro exhibition in Italy, dedicated to the agro-food and gastronomic sector, one of the largest in the world of its kind.

FICO is 20,000 square meters of Italian biodiversity in Bologna! Two whole hectares are set aside for demonstrative fields and stables with more than 200 animals and 2000 different varieties. The best place to learn the secrets of Italian agricultural and farming traditions. A real "ark" of Italian beauty.

At the exhibition, one can observe the entire process of food production taking place in 40 agricultural factories and consortiums of FICO, discover all stages of food production from raw materials to final products and listen to the stories of the best Italian food masters.

Agro exhibition is unique, as in one place you can taste all Italian traditional dishes made from fresh and simple, light ingredients from 40 FICO factories.

On the exhibition grounds: trattorias, Star restaurants, bistros and street food kiosks, where there is something for everyone, from children to gourmets.

A range of educational and recreational activities has been developed for children and young people in preschool, primary, secondary schools and secondary educational establishments to learn about the main food supply chains in an innovative way.

The trip was intense, interesting, and useful for all partners of the “School Garden” project. It became clear, what kind of experience can be learned from the Italians, and what knowledge can partners from the Eastern Partnership countries share with Italian partners. We can assume that the foundation for the creation of an international team was laid.

See photos

This publication has been produced with the support of the European Union and the Green Cross International. Responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the public organization “Green Cross Belarus”, and it can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union and  Green Cross International.