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WOOP’s Sofa: WOOP food meets Daniela Cestelli!

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WOOP’s Sofa is a place of encounter, knowledge, and inspiration. We’re going to host different guests on our sofa to talk with them about food, crowdfunding, technology, community and more.
So, take a seat and make yourself comfortable!

Hi Daniela and thanks for joining WOOP’s Sofa. Do you mind introducing yourself and telling us what you are doing?
First of all thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk of me, not as Daniela, but rather as a young agricultural entrepreneur.
My story is the same story of many young people who want to go back to their origin after studying and spending some time abroad.
I just turned 30 y-old and am the third one of 5 children born in raised in the Chianti Classico countryside, between Florence and Siena. As a child I would spend a long time in the woods, looking for mushrooms with my grandma, and swimming by the river. At 18, I began my Chinese studies in Rome: my dream was to be a journalist in China and report the crimes of humanity from the other side of the globe. Later on, China helped me understand I belong exactly to the area I come from. That’s why I decided, with the essential help of my father, to run a farm and start again from the soil.

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What is the value of agriculture nowadays, also considering the new generation approaching the field?
I dealt first with biological agriculture, and then with biodynamics.
This term, biodynamics, refers that a shift occurred in agriculture in 1924 when, after decades of chemical farming, current production methods could no longer provide healthy foods. Quality agriculture started being perceived as something necessary.
Nowadays, each of us can be both a producer and a consumer, leaving on a side the mere logic of the product and getting to a new era of exchange. Thanks to the innovative agriculture, we can rediscover the importance of doing something for others: we produce food, we eat food, we exchange and donate it. I believe, thus, that young people should start thinking about agriculture as of what it really is: a source of life.

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How is it possible to hand down the interest in agriculture from generation to generation, and would this be important?
I believe the interest in agriculture comes up first of all as a personal path. All of us, when eating or going to the grocery, should ask ourselves what we’re consume. Should realize that bread, pasta, wine, these are the result of the collaboration between man and nature. I’m sure that once we will all start to beware what we eat, we will definitely get close to agriculture.
Together with Filippo Ferrari and Beatrice Torrini from vinibio(punto)bio, I’m personally trying to promote the theoretical and practical discussion about biodynamics and the relationship man/nature.

In order to make her projects come true, what should a woman who’s investing in agriculture do?
As for my own experience, when I first started I was quite unconscious and I’ve never been afraid to dare. But anyone needs courage, strength and much determination.
Regarding the organization, the job at the farm is never easy. Also when delegating tasks, I would love being able to transmit the courage to believe in agriculture – and I hope I am.

During your daily routine at the cooperative, are you dealing more with women or with men? Is agriculture a place for women?
In the farm I’m the only woman (along with Beatrice, who supports me from far away though). It’s not easy to manage the entire production when you are working with men, and yet, at the same time, it is also stimulating. In the countryside, for example, I can also count on my father’s help, although I can realize it’s difficult for him to get away from an agricultural tradition based on quantity rather than quality. However, Filippo Ferrari and I are managing to convince him of the contrary…

Why have women been getting closer to agriculture in the last years?
As women, the idea of nature as Mother Earth is probably closer to our sensitivity. Nevertheless, agriculture as a job is often exhausting and tiring.

March, 8th will be Women’s Day, you may want to leave a message to our girl-Woopers.
Being a woman and working in a male environment is never easy. But as women, we can help build a more caring society that preserves and enhances the good food and wine. And this society, if built by women, would not forget about the environment, family traditions, the land. Thank all of us.

Her crowdfunding campaign has recently been launched on WOOP food’s platform, sooo… why don’t you give it a look? CLICK HERE 

 

 


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