Two weeks from now, the U.S. National Pavilion will open at Milan Expo 2015 -- the finishing touches are being put on this month, including the vertical farm and the giant flag design cantilevered out from the building. With the theme “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” the USA Pavilion will host millions of visitors during the May 1- October 31 world’s fair.
The USA Pavilion for the Milan Expo has been developed by a public-private partnership, the Friends of the USA Pavilion Expo Milano 2015. Led by the James Beard Foundation and the International Culinary Center, in association with the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, this team has created an exciting, entertaining, and educational program for the six-month long Expo. The project is financed entirely by sponsorships from the private sector.
Ever since President Obama’s announcement of U.S. participation in March 2014, the State Department and this private sector partner have worked to ensure a strong U.S. presence at the Expo. From the groundbreaking in Milan last July to the appointment of Commissioner General Doug Hickey in December, Secretary Kerry has been at the center of this effort. As he noted at a reception celebrating the Milan groundbreaking, world’s fairs have always highlighted innovation. Innovation will be front and center in Milan as well, this time focused on answering a critical question: how can we feed a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050?
As a global leader in advancing food security, the United States sees the Milan Expo as a chance to share with the world the work American scientists, chefs, and entrepreneurs continue to do -- day in and day out -- and ultimately to help make even more progress addressing our food security and nutrition challenges.
The USA Pavilion will showcase American expertise and plant the seeds for more trade and investment between the United States and its international partners. With 145 countries participating, the Expo expects over 20 million visitors, with millions more joining online. Companies helping sponsor the USA Pavilion will reach new audiences in every corner of the globe. U.S. participation will expand opportunities for American businesses overseas and strengthen trade between the United States and Europe -- the largest trade relationship in the world.
The pavilion also aims to foster awareness and enthusiasm for American food in all its aspects. The most important trends in American cuisine involve sustainability, innovation, entrepreneurship and healthy and delicious dishes. As a nation of immigrants, the United States enjoys a fusion of tastes and ingredients that knows no equal in the world.
In describing his expectations for the world’s fair that opens May 1, Secretary Kerry explained, “What the Milan Expo is going to do is show people from all over the world how we can all come together in order to meet this enormous challenge of feeding 9 billion people in the course of this century. For many people alive today, this challenge will be within their lifetimes. So we have a huge amount of work to do, and this Expo is hopefully going to provide people with the knowledge and the access that they need to make it happen.”
About the Author: Beatrice Camp serves as the Coordinator for the USA Pavilion, Milan Expo 2015.