5 November: On this day in 1974 the “World Food Conference” opened in Rome

In his film “Roma”, Federico Fellini catapults us among revellers painting the town (Rome) red one evening in the 1970s, amidst songs and plates of carbonara pasta. Now, let’s imagine those same trattorias filling up with delegates who’ve arrived in Rome from all over the world to attend the FAO’s “World Food Conference” in 1974. It was a momentous event that took place during an era that was still ‘hungry’ for “World Days”: the oil crisis and a decrease in the big producers’ agricultural reserves (first and foremost the USA), were among the causes for alarm.

One of the results of this conference was the establishment in 1974 of the Committee on World Food Security whose task is to review and follow-up on policies concerning world food security, including production and access to food. For the first time a clear warning was being sent out to that part of the world that could afford to fill Fellini’s trattorias or Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s: that the food problem must be tackled by cultivating broad relationships – over and beyond flowerbeds – and by rediscovering the authentic value of agriculture.

Name Day:
St Domninus, St Theotimus and Companions, Martyrs