An honorary degree for Sveva Sagramola. The University of Pollenzo gave it to the host of “Geo” which also certifies the importance of the theme of “food” in harmony with environmental issues.
Congratulations, Dr. Sveva. How was your stay in Piedmont?
“Wonderful. I’ll tell you this: one morning, in the Langhe, I went to a place that seemed absurdly beautiful to me. I went up to La Morra and there were the boys in front of this beautiful school, on the panoramic terrace. The students were playing games, having recreation in the open air and I was thinking of their luck. It was such a beautiful scene, also for the sociability it expressed. In a magnificent place, on a human scale”.
A land that you think is at risk environmentally because of the strong growth around food and wine topics?
“It is clear that when you build your fortune around a theme, it sometimes becomes difficult to hold the bar straight. But here we are talking about a land of excellence. I always say that the earth is beautiful when man “embroiders” it. So yes, nature becomes mother, because otherwise it is by definition uncontaminated and wild. Beautiful in the history of poets and in our imagination, but hard on a practical level. And if the Cuneo region is a land of extraordinary wines as well as typical products, I must say that I have not seen a disfigured landscape. I saw more and more hazel groves, but in the right places”.
Should culture always accompany entrepreneurial growth?
“Yes. but I think it all depends on the conscience of each individual. It is clear that there will always be those who aim to obtain the maximum profit without scruples and those who are concerned with remaining in harmony with the environment. L “Italy is a little gem, you have to understand that we have a lot of potential and we can’t waste it. Ours must be as organic as possible, as qualitative as possible, because that’s our strength. And there’s the land which if treated well, then it is fertile, in a landscape which must be maintained accordingly, if you destroy it, you cannot go back.
Is something changing in the general consciousness?
“Many only think of their own interests, but today I feel that fortunately there is another awareness. It is also due to the fact that we are already paying a high price for a planet that is suffering and that the Agriculture is also being put to the test by climate change. The extreme images of the effects of progressive desertification, global warming, show us that we are all heading towards a profound transformation. Our capacity for resilience will be put to the test, the possibility of maintaining the temperature of the planet no more than one and a half degrees higher”.
All this after the pandemic…
“It changed our habits, made us suffer real pain for the loss of loved ones, for the effects on the economy. It put us in crisis but it made us understand that we had to improve, get closer, help each other. But I feel that we are on the right track, towards something that will perhaps go better”.
What role does information play?
“The truth is that if you report that we are on the brink of disaster, there is nothing more that can be done. Instead, since we are not, even if we are in bad shape, there is must nevertheless emphasize that we are betting on our permanence on the planet. But I have seen young entrepreneurs, between 25 and 45 years old, who are really advanced and who are already doing concrete things, inventing solutions and having a different approach There is already a movement and the transition continues”.
Is this the path traced by Carlo Petrini?
“Petrini is a moving man, he has a special light in his eyes. Everything he does, he does for others. When he started his project he saw further than everyone, since he acts for the good of the earth and I find that extraordinary. His philosophy is now global, that of a human being capable of communicating with natural systems. I had already interviewed him, but to see him in his Pollenzo, surrounded by so many guys and so enthusiastic, with an energy that I don’t really know where he comes from, it was wonderful. I find him an extraordinary person, who makes you fall in love”.
Returning to the ecological transition, what can change immediately?
“It’s a phase where you can’t have it all. For example, we would need more wind turbines but we know there is always a price to pay, and that concerns the landscape. After all, we already have to pay the price for bringing the planet to the brink of environmental catastrophe. You have to place an order, continue the gas for a while and develop all these alternative sources in the meantime. The waste cycle must reach zero, but the truth can hardly be told. Sometimes it seems like the sense of reality is lacking. The fact is that some results can also be achieved through compromises, step by step”.
Is this the job of politics?
“Politics must stop seeking consensus, it must do the things that are necessary. His task is to anticipate, even to take unpopular decisions. On the issue of waste, for example, no one wants to take responsibility for doing something, not even talking about it. Because what matters is to look to the next elections. So – sorry to say – but maybe the technicians are more free to act”.
How did the theme of food enter the narrative of “Geo”?
“Ours has always been a program of documentaries, stories of wildlife from uncharted places, but since the first episode in 1984, forty years have passed, over time things change, the world changes and our way of life, they change the needs. So the show explored the subject of food. We deal with the issues of life, so also our relationship to food. We know that the way we produce food in the future will be very important We tell the traditions and the products, the Italian excellences, the people who have a relationship with the land, a deep love that is transmitted from generation to generation We try to inspire young people by telling models, driving examples that know how to give hope and energy”.