Thursday, February 29, 2024

France at Milan EXPO 2015: The Great Market

[quote]To feed the world, all farmers in all countries should be mobilized but ours is our responsibility. We need to help other countries to produce more. Our agriculture thus has a major role to play in the supply of agricultural commodities and the balance of global markets role. This is the goal that I set him. France must help feed the population of the planet and act here for employment and for our territories.” — François Hollande, President of the French Republic[/quote]

The 2015 world’s fair will take place in Milan, Italy, May 1-Oct 31. InPark’s world expo specialist James Ogul says of the design for the France Pavilion:

“The French have come up with a clever design that is very distinctive and achieved by inverting a three dimensional topographical map. It has a very open flow pattern that should easily accommodate large crowds. The exhibits will be centered around France‘s food production. Upstairs, a restaurant will serve vegetables grown on site using hydroponic processes and aromatic herbs planted on the terrace. Hops growing though the wood matrix will give the pavilion a live feel.”

From a story about the France Pavilion design in Dezeen Magazine:

Using digital fabrication techniques, cross-crossing layers of timber will give the building its ridged structure. Curved hollows will frame interior spaces, while the designers hope that vines of hops will grow up through the gaps in the lattice. As a result of the various crops, XTU Architects imagines the underside of the undulating ceiling as an upside-down landscape that mimics the rolling hills of the French countryside.”

The following story and photos were put together by InPark news editor Joe Kleiman based on material from the French National Ministry of Agriculture, Diplomatic Embassy of France in the United States, and Milan EXPO 2015:

[dropcap color=”#888″ type=”square”]W[/dropcap]ith the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” the organizers of Expo Milano 2015 seek to provide answers to the question: “How to ensure to all mankind adequate food, quality, healthy and sustainable?

France is directly affected by these issues, its participation at EXPO reflects a strong desire to fully examine these questions and to provide concrete answers and to adapt to the diversity of situations.

With strong economic and scientific conditions providingundeniable advantages, reinforced by appropriate public policies, France is able to be fully involved in all issues related to the preservation of product quality and the environment with the objective to feed the entire planet. The diversity of its agricultural patterns and fishery resources in fact enables it to ensure at the same time the development of the domestic territories and a strong presence in global markets. With the diversity of its products (combining the strandard local products) and innovative food industry, France  has adapted to new societal needs for food and managed to maintain and develop a gourmet society combining tradition and modernity, health and pleasure.


France’s agricultural future will also rely on public and private feedback, as well as a network of higher education institutions, including the universally recognized best quality in the world, which allows France to make, thanks to scientific progress and innovation , changes to food to answer present and future challenges.

The food model used by France fits today is perfectly consistent with the international logic of respect for the diversity of global food, the essential balance between pleasure and health , the necessary preservation of the planet’s resources, and the sustainability of food models . To do this, France will continue its engagement to maintain food security on the international agenda and promote governance involving all stakeholders (policy makers, producers’ organizations, NGOs, private sector, researchers) of food security.  Therefore, in its role beyond its mere economic presence in global markets, there is the presence that reflects the importance of agriculture, fisheries and food in the national economy.

With the theme Different Ways of Producing and Providing Food, France intends to respond specifically to issues of access to food in many countries, particularly in developing countries.

The French presence is based on four pillars:

-  Supplying to countries that lack in food production: the production capacity of France allows it to participate in food supply worldwide, such as to countries with a deficit of food production.

-  Producing more and better: responding to the need for more food without destroying the planet’s natural potential is a huge challenge. Agro ecology, environmentally-friendly agrifood industries, sustainable aquaculture and fishing and the creation of jobs are at the heart of French policies. 

-  Cooperating internationally to improve international food sufficiency: international cooperation for food sufficiency, especially regarding science and research, has to be improved. 

-  Matching quantity and quality of food: food safety, nutritional balance, pleasure of eating (gastronomy, “terroir” products…) France wants to highlight the importance of a diverse food model, the need for balance between pleasure and health when it comes to food, and the indispensability of a sustainable agriculture. 


These four pillars are highlighted in scenography / museum aspects of the Pavilion and also in the areas of culinary demonstrations, dining areas and those reserved for partners in the Pavilion. In the latter, the fourth pillar dedicated to quality and enjoyment will be especially honored. Conferences, seminars and forums will also be an opportunity to communicate and exchange around these four themes.

In the historic center (Corso Magenta), the French Cultural Center in Milan, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Italy and UbiFrance, in coordination with the Commissioner General of the Pavilion of France, will organize events and events linked with the theme of the World Expo.

The general theme of the exhibition Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life will be presented at the Pavilion of France under the angle How to produce and feed differently?  How can we feed satisfactorily all individuals who inhabit the planet by 2050 (nearly 10 billion, of which approximately 70% will be urban)?  This requires planners to rethink the organization of all links in the food chain, to trim the field, but also to question the economic, social and environmental sustainability of food models.

The search for a better balance between available resources and the deductions made by man for food affects all sectors, as a plant, an animal (land or water) and at the same time we explore solutions for a more sustainable harvest and/or those likely to conserve resources.

The linking thread of the French pavilion will be based on the idea that the challenge can be met only by mobilizing all levels (from local to global), all the resources at our disposal, and particularly those produced by research in science and technology. This attention to the role of science and innovation goes hand in hand with strong affirmation of the necessary commitment for strengthening  modes of production and being more respectful of environmental conservation and consumption, maintenance of economic and social balances, as well as public health issues. Finally, the pavilion will demonstrate that technology and innovation are not conflicting with the production of quality food, or with the preservation of taste and traditions.

The urgent need to “produce more and better” as announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Stéphane Le Foll, requires the mobilization of all the knowledge generated in recent years in the field of agroecology, as well as the deployment of new technologies for precision farming (satellites, drones, computer on-board tractors or farms, etc.).  This “agriculture of tomorrow” will increase food production while conserving natural resources.  Besides the quality of soil and air, special attention should also be paid to the issue of water management, both quantitative and qualitative level. Finally, often overlooked or underestimated the vital role of micro-organisms (in-soil life, strengthening natural defenses in humans or animals, or making foods such as cheese, bread or wine) will be discussed.

Given the constraints related to access to land, the consequences of global warming and the increasing scarcity of water, increased food availability can not be done without further genetic progress, both in plant material, and animals: species better adapted to local conditions, both soil and climatic and social; anticipated impacts of climate change and declining water resources; taking into account the nutritional quality; etc.

In addition to this major axis, increasing the demand for food is a new opportunity for all researchers working in the areas of aquaculture, vegetable proteins, algae, new sources of animal protein … It also stimulates actors whose chemistry of living research aims in particular to achieve the “zero waste” in the transformation of plants or animal products and development of agricultural commodities by other sectors (cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, energy, … ).Finally, it questions our ways of production and consumption in relation, in particular, the extent of losses and waste they generate, emissions of greenhouse gases or dissemination of pathogens.

Among the major challenges of the coming years, those affected by the consequences of climate change, both in terms of population movements (the annual number of “climate refugees” are an estimated 200 million in 2050), and the quality and quantity of agricultural products and therefore the sustainability of current production systems. There is in fact already present the arrival of new animal diseases and/or pests in connection with the globalization of trade and climate change.

Another issue that requires urgent responses, in addition to that of undernourishment and malnutrition, which affects hundreds of millions of people around the world, is that of overweight individuals and obesity is growing at an alarming rate. A major public health issue in developed countries, it also concerns, increasingly, countries that are developing; this is called “double burden”. Finally, the “riots” in 2008 emphasize, if need be, the need to improve the governance of agriculture and global food security, the issue that France considers of the highest importance.

To conclude, France is particularly attentive to the preservation of food policy, which aims to ensure that for the entire population, economically acceptable conditions is experienced by all and all have sufficient access to safe and healthy food, a diverse variety with high quality produced under conditions promoting employment, social compliance, protection of the environment and landscape and contributing to the fight against climate change.


All these elements will be presented to visitors as part of the France Pavilion with an exhibition at once attractive and fun. They will also be included in the framework of seminars, conferences, debates, video conferencing, etc., plus cooking demonstrations, gourmet events, tasting of local products, and cultural events.

Symposia, seminars and forums will also be the opportunity to communicate on these four axes.

The French Cultural Center in Milan, located in the historic center, Corso Magenta, will also hold cultural events dedicated to this theme during the Universal Exhibition.

The architectural concept: building a territory, a fertile market
The wood and glass building, spread over a 3,592 square-meter space, is inspired by the covered market, a symbol of French food culture. The pavilion takes its inspiration from the fact that traditional markets are located in many cities of France, which clearly represent the overall theme of Expo Milano 2015, with an emphasis on food security, access to food and the element of food quality. CMC, a firm based in Ravenna, carried out the design of the architectural studio Anouk Legendre, Nicholas and Alix Desmazière Afferni.

Given the temporary nature of the pavilion, a lightweight construction was chosen, with its wooden frame that can be disassembled and reused after the Exposition. Particular attention has been given to reducing energy consumption, and to waste recycling and purification.

Areas dedicated to the four pillars of communication offer spectacular scenery and are located alongside the restaurant, a brasserie and a quick refreshment point. In its boutique can be found all the variety and quality of French food, while in the demonstration area, a showcase of French savoir-faire in the kitchen.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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