The city of Rieti hosted the World Chilli Fair on its 5th edition and the Inauguration Ceremony took place on Thursday 27th August 2015 at the city’s main square. Mr. Hussein Mohammed, Acting Head of Mission, participated on behalf of the Mission.
The event was launched by Mr. Stefano Colantoni, President of the Organizing Committee, who welcomed the institutional guests and Diplomatic officials attending the ceremony. After playing the Italian national anthem, Mr. Colantoni mentioned the unique characteristic of this year’s edition: the ‘Sabina Chilli Pepper’, cultivated and produced in the areas surrounding the city of Rieti for the first time in the history of the edition, and scheduled to be a certified product within next year.
Mr. Colantoni informed that the key aspects of this year’s edition were the Painting and Photographic exhibitions focusing on the theme of chilli peppers and its various associated symbolisms, as well as the Chilli Trade Fair hall, showing and describing all the various types of chilli peppers produced around the world.
Mr. Colantoni’s introductory remarks were followed by a speech by Ms. Donatella Prampolini Manzini, Vice President of ConfCommercio, the Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Professions and Self-Employed, the largest business association in Italy. Ms. Manzini enumerated the strategic importance of chilli peppers that make it a successful product of the country, and urged participants not to underestimate its potential benefits, adding that Rieti’s chilli peppers are ‘like a red Ferrari vehicle still parked in the garage and ready to monopolize the scene’.
Mr. Simone Petrangeli, Mayor of the City, welcomed the guests and thanked the organizers for the successful collaboration extended by all the key institutions in making the event a success for the city in the year 2015. He emphasized the strategic importance of chilli peppers as being the second most consumed ingredient in the world after salt. The Mayor expressed his confidence that the event will again attract an increased number of tourists as happened in the past edition, when more than 150,000 visitors attended the 2014 fair.
Successively, the floor was given to the Hon. Guglielmo Rositani, founder and creator of the World Chilli Fair, who highlighted the enormous steps taken by the city of Rieti and the event organizers to increase public awareness on the health properties of chilli peppers, as well as to convince the Italian institutions on its potential market opportunities.
The event was concluded with the symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony, and the guests visited the various stands at the exhibition halls.
During the event, the Mission officials were able to hold brief preliminary discussions with Mr. Vincenzo Regnini, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Rieti, to evaluate possible areas of collaboration and investment, with the view to linking prospective Italian buyers with the Ghanaian chilli pepper growers/producers and seek the possibility of obtaining machinery to facilitate the cultivation and processing of chilli peppers in Ghana.