Passion, commitment and love for the land have been some of the magic ingredients which made the ETTE 3rd training circuit’s recipe very special. The cooking metaphor, here, is not incongruous: Food has been in the limelight during the three days of this next-to-last JST (Joint Staff Training) organised by ENAIP in Conegliano, at the heart of the Veneto Region.
In this land framed by historic Venetian villas and snow-clad mountain peaks, excellence revolves around small-scale farms and agricultural enterprises specialised in local traditional productions such as Sponcio corn, Lamon beans, Strawberries of the Dolomites and the Cesiomaggiore potatoes. These and kin ancient typical productions are the pride of the Agricultural Technical Institute of Feltre, in the Belluno province. Here students can lodge in a beautiful historical palace and learn the ropes of planting, cropping, farming, pruning and harvesting ancient vegetable and animal breeds which serve as basic ingredients for delicious meals and quality foodstuff catering for short supply chains. Participants of the JST had the opportunity to taste a wide range of such local delicacies at the “birreria padevana”, the old brewery including a museum and a laboratory where the past and the present of the local beer production come together in magic harmony.
Already in the XVIII century the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach had put it very clearly: “Der Mensch ist, was er iß” i.e. “You are what you eat”. But what does this imply in our XX-century heavily globalised world? More often than not, it entails that we do not actually know what we eat (and therefore what we are!). Presenting the Life Foster project on waste reduction in food industry(https://www.lifefoster.eu/logo/enaip-net/), Carlotta and Barbara from ENAIP Veneto retraced the many steps that an apparently simple food product go through before reaching the consumer’s dinner table. Commodified to the extreme, fruits and vegetables become more and more artificial as they are filled with pesticides and preservatives, wrapped up in plastic, transferred over long distances, far away from the land where they sprout and grew. By the time they reach our fridge, they have lost most of their natural flavour. It is then all too easy for us to forget that strawberries, carrots and oranges are also “alive” and nourishing our own life. We tend to become simple food consumers rather than conscious and sensitive eaters.
Working on the students’ awareness and sensitivity to sustainable development is a priority for the ENAIP VET Center of Conegliano. On the first day of the JST, Daniela Dal Zotto and Alessio Castagnotto led the “VET around the clock” icebreaker, giving participants an opportunity to get to know each other’s organisations with a fresh and insightful look. Then students from the tourism courses accompanied participants in a guided tour of the Conegliano ENAIP center which includes hairdressing and cooking labs, 11 classrooms and computer labs.
On the second day of the JST, the agricultural cooperative “La fiorita” and the “Perlage wines” organic winery were the main highlights. Participants had the chance to taste top-quality cheese specialties produced by “La fiorita” local enterprises and had a toast with prosecco at the Perlage’s premises. The pastures and vineyards here around have become part of the UNESCO world heritage in September 2019. Since then, a new boom in the demand for the prosecco sparkling wine has led the local productors to rethink their manufacturing and management processes for a larger market within a sustainable development approach. Recycling the material used for the corks and the labels was one of the strategies implemented to raise the sustainability standards while saving costs.
On the third day, ENAIP students and the staff have shared their kitchen, their knowledge and their passion with participants on the occasion of an anti-waste cooking workshop where they had the opportunity to learn how to use parmesan peels, stale bread and scraps of vegetables to make mouth-watering raviolis, vegetarian tripe and startling pureed soups. In parallel, focus groups shared their ideas and impressions of the previous days in World-Café sessions.
The fourth Joint Staff Training will take place in May 2020 at the premises of Cefochim and Technifutur in Belgium.
Please find here the article (in Greek) of our Greek partner IME GSEVEE. Translation coming soon.