Although he predicts that the next edition of FRUTO, held annually in São Paulo, can be in person on a part-time basis, Atala believes that the pandemic has opened up a possibility for online events. "I hope people start to believe in a digital format more," he says. “Symposiums and events end up being very expensive due to travel. With fewer costs, it is possible to think about having people from more parts of the world, making discussions even more diverse.”
Atala also reflects on environmental issues related to the models we have adopted in food events worldwide. “We cannot talk about sustainability by increasing the planet's carbon footprint, polluting even more. And sustainability also has to do with people's quality of life. Is it worth traveling for dozens of hours for a 40-minute talk?”
For the Basque Culinary Center, embracing online events — more than pursuing a more sustainable model in the world of conferences — is an opportunity to have discussions with a broader audience, and connect the whole food industry, especially during the pandemic when people are more willing to receive information.
Joxe Mari Aizega
“Virtual experiences allow us to explore collaborations such as this one with FRUTO, having two different organisations, one in Europe and one in Latin America, working together, expanding possibilities and making it really global,” explains Sasha Correa, project manager for BCC.
According to Basque Culinary Center director Joxe Mari Aizega, in times when travel is not possible, technology is an ally in promoting meetings and reflections worldwide, exchanging experiences and points of view from different characters in the culinary world. In addition to the partnership with FRUTO, BCC will co-produce Foro Alimentarte in the coming months, with Fundación Corazón Verde, from Colombia.
“We want to continue making events like this one and overcoming the current limitations. The world outside doesn't stop. We have to face different opportunities to do things, and we need to make the most of them,” he says.