Barack Obama

Barack Obama will be the guest of honor at the Seeds&Chips summit in Milan on May 9.

The international summit, running May 8 to 11 at the Fiera Milano-Rho venue, will be focused on innovations in the food business, spanning from new production techniques and food security to the sustainability and accessibility of the food chain.

The former president will give a keynote speech and hold a conversation with Sam Kass, Obama’s senior food policy adviser and promoter of the White House’s health-conscious efforts.

“We are deeply honored that President Barack Obama will be visiting Milan for the first time to attend Seeds&Chips. This undoubtedly shines the spotlight on Milano, on Italy and on the journey that began with Expo 2015. Thanks to President Obama’s participation at Seeds&Chips, the city of Milan once again plays the leading role in the creation of food policies at an international level. With Expo 2015, Milano was the center of these important issues. Today we have the responsibility of carrying this important legacy forward,” said Seeds&Chips founder Marco Gualtieri.

“It is essential to find solutions to tackle the major challenges linked to global population growth, food security, sustainability and to climate change. I believe that Milan and Italy can become an international reference point for innovation and research in this field.”


MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Then-First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at Milan Expo 2015 on June 18, 2015. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at the United States Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 on June 18, 2015 in Milan, Italy.  Getty Images


Obama’s trip to Milan follows the Italian tour of former First lady Michelle Obama, who visited the U.S. Pavilion at the Milan Expo: “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet” in June 2015.

“I’m really proud that, after welcoming Michelle, Milan will host Barack Obama, a man I greatly admire,” said Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala. “Seeds&Chips offers a unique opportunity to focus everyone’s attention on an extremely important issue that has close links with our city. With the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, we have shown we have the ability and strength to guide and speak up for a change that is more necessary than ever. The document that was able to translate the food policies at the heart of Expo 2015 into actions is based not only on concrete projects aimed at reducing waste and ensuring access to healthy food. Another one of the document’s pillars is promoting cooperation between all the great cities of the world. These are two key ingredients that will enable all of us to achieve this goal, and the presence of President Barack Obama can only lend more strength to our message.”

The Seeds&Chips summit, which will collect hundreds of start-ups, companies, and institutions operating in the food industry, will also see the participation of Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and  Italian Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda, among others.