Libera Terra is an organisation based in Sicily and southern Italy who wants to work closely with UK based groups to promote both their wonderful produce and also the wines that are produced at their farms, olive groves and vineyards.
In the UK they hope to hold promotional events in London and the east of England which normally will include workshops with talks about the organisation together with tastings of their wines and also a variety of their organic produce, typically olive oil, marmalades and tomato passata's with pasta.
Libera Terra was established by the Italian priest Father Luigi Ciotti in March 1995, Libera Terra meaning "Free Land" in Italian. It is an organisation that coordinates the efforts of various Italian entities fighting against organised crime mainly in Sicily but also in southern Italy, these crime syndicates are usually known by their generic name of Mafia.
The Italian state then passed a law in 1996 which grants the use of assets, land and properties confiscated off organised crime, namely the Mafia to social cooperatives for a predetermined length of time. Since 1996 more than 4,500 estates, vineyards and properties have been lent to the various cooperatives involved, with their numbers growing steadily year on year.
The confiscated land and vineyards are all in the south of Italy, which include the regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Lazio as well as the majority by area in Sicily.
Libera terra, which is a non profit organisation now uses the land that has been confiscated to produce a range of organic foods and wines, including olive oil, pasta, marmalades, jams, legumes and preserves as well as a large selection of typically southern Italian produce. The local Libera groups also now offer a range of packages at the many Agriturismi, Bed and Breakfasts, Vineyards and farms that they look after on behalf of the Italian state, many groups can provide a wide range of holiday accommodation, as well as catering for educational tours and visits from groups interested in the different Libera projects. We also plan to be able to offer these fascinating unique tours and visits through our sister company Vinitours, starting in the summer of 2013. For further information on Libera Terra, their products, wine and accommodation in Italy and Sicily please contact Dermott at Slow Food Norwich for full details of the visits and tours that are currently available.