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Small farmers sell their produce at a local market Small farmers sell their produce at a local market  (ANSA)

Pope to farmers: ‘Seek rebirth in solidarity and respect for creation'

Pope Francis sends a message to "Coldiretti", Italy’s biggest farmers’ association, reiterating that the global response to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic must be rooted in a culture of service.

By Alessandro De Carolis & Linda Bordoni

The need to relaunch the economy, and with it social growth and vitality, is the core issue being discussed at Coldiretti’s National Assembly, which is being held online on the theme “Italy starts again from the heroes of food.”

Coldiretti is Italy’s biggest farmers’ association, with over 1.6 million members. It represents agricultural entrepreneurs at a national and European level and aims to protect the rights of farmers, big and small; guarantee the quality of Italian agricultural produce; and promote sustainability and food security. 

In a message signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on his behalf, Pope Francis remarked on how all sectors of society are looking for ways to leave behind the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

A survey just carried out by Coldiretti shows that the crisis generated by Covid will cut Italians’ Christmas menus by 1/3 with a 31% reduction in spending compared to last year, making 2020 the year with the lowest spending on Italian Christmas tables for at least a decade. 

What is important, the Pope said in his message, is “how” this recovery will be implemented. Thus, he took the occasion to uphold the path he has always considered the most just: the one that intends to "rethink the relationship between man, nature and the Creator as a factor of profound balance and communion."

The right logic

Acknowledging what he described as “the decisive role of the agricultural and agri-food world” in the rebirth of the country, the Pope appealed to representatives of the sector to ensure that their contribution is offered “not by seeking the logic of profit, but that of service, not of exploitation of resources, but of care and attention to nature” that is to be seen “as a welcoming home for all.” 

New paths of solidarity

Pope Francis concluded his message urging Coldiretti’s members to have the courage to always seek and undertake "new paths of charity and solidarity, for a truly global response to the phenomenon of poverty and inequality among peoples, especially in this crucial phase of world history."

15 December 2020, 16:31