The hot potato passes to BenettonTalk

The tuber that revolutionised the world’s diet is the new topic of discussion on Benetton’s nine-language portal.

Ponzano, 19 July 2006. Everything you ever wanted to know about the potato, served online in nine different languages. The symbol of a genetic legacy which must be protected and an opportunity to tackle the problems of food in the world’s poorest areas. Also, a protagonist in studies of traditional skills and savours and in the popular or refined cuisines of all countries. BenettonTalk’s new focus of discussion is the tuber from the Andes of Peru and, more in general, the subject of biodiversity. This new topic is the latest in a series of much-debated questions, such as handing back land to native populations, dying languages and, in co-operation with the Pen American Center, the defence of freedom of expression. And now, the Benetton talks in two more languages, Russian and German.

First there’s a description of the undertakings of the potato’s “temple”, the International Potato Centre (CIP), the leading, Lima-based organisation for tuber and root crops research. The CIP is, first and foremost, a seed bank. It holds 5,000 different types of wild or cultivated potatoes, 3,800 of which originated in Peru; 6,500 of sweet potato; and over a thousand other Andean varieties.

Other articles range from the history of the potato in South America and Ireland to information about biodiversity protection, which is vital to saving and benefiting from species’ diversities. Then the latest news, such as the recent agreements with the native Andean populations to guarantee local genetic resources and traditional knowledge (thus ensuring they are not subject to intellectual property rights of any kind). And not forgetting interesting facts, recipes from around the world, games. The various aspects can be studied further through a wide choice of biodiversity links, above all the CIP (, Slowfood ( and Terra Madre (

Through a wide-ranging panorama of biodiversity, delves into a very topical subject, in parallel, as always, with its blog, which every day allows users to participate in lively debate. A constantly growing dialogue, whose next subject will be Time Banks.



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