The key message which Ireland wished to transmit to visitors to its Pavilion was: “continuous improvement”. The entire Irish farming sector, for instance, has voluntarily submitted itself to a program of continuous verification of sustainability parameters by external verification bodies: each farm is checked every 18 months on traceability, quality commitment, food security, water use (even though Ireland has the lowest water stress score in the world), animal welfare and grazing management. 90,000 carbon footprint tests alone are carried out per year. This was the heart of the Origin Green program, which was also the title chosen for the country’s participation in Expo Milano 2015. This project’s aim was to make Ireland a world leader in the sustainable production of food and beverages.
A message channeled through emotion
In the Irish Pavilion, all this was communicated through emotion, via graphics and video material on numerous panels. These explained, for example, that 80 percent of Ireland’s cultivatable land is used for grazing: double the European average. And that 90 percent of the diet of livestock raised in Ireland consists of grass. Ireland’s cows graze in the open air for 300 days a year, and this explains why many Michelin-star chefs prefer to use Irish beef. And also, for instance, that Ireland’s fields were surrounded by a total of 300,000 km of hedges, constituting a massive natural carbon reserve and an optimal habitat for both flora and fauna.
The “Faces of Food”: witnesses to a concept in operation
The visitors’ itinerary unfolded on a single level (the first and second floors were devoted to encounters and events). “The Faces of Food” acted as indirect guides to the tour: vivid photos of farmers, country people and workers in the food and beverages sector. Special 4D glasses were available to make the magnificent Irish landscape experience even more immersive.