In 2012, CIHEAM celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with the 2012 edition of Mediterra which takes the mobilising potential of the Mediterranean Diet as a basis and proposes a multidimensional itinerary involving sociodemographics, health, ecology, enterprise, geo-economics and citizens´initiative.
Consumers in the countries of the Mediterranean Basin have progressively changed their dietary practices as they have gradually become caught up in the dynamics of urbanisation and the globalisation of agricultural trade dynamics. They are adhering less and less to the Mediterranean Diet, despite the fact that it is the basis of their identity and one of the major assets of the region. Pressures on natural resources and the emergence of new private actors are compounding the complexity of diet-related issues.
Already the subject of widespread sociocultural and scientific debate and research, the Mediterranean Diet merits reconsideration from the political point of view given the growing awareness of the strategic dimension of agriculture and the crucial role played by food production in the stability and development of societies. This diet, whose health-promoting virtues are widely recognised and which UNESCO has now listed as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, is now raising questions in the fields of environmental responsibility and political action to promote greater regional cooperation.
CIHEAM is founded in 1962 under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the OECD, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) is an intergovernmental organisation comprising thirteen member countries from the Mediterranean Basin (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey).
CIHEAM is made up of four Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes (MAI) located in Bari (Italy), Chania (Greece), Montpellier (France) and Zaragoza (Spain) and a General Secretariat in Paris.
In pursuing its three main complementary missions (specialised post-graduate education, networked research and facilitation of the regional debate), CIHEAM has established itself as an authority in its fields of activity: Mediterranean agriculture, food and sustainable rural development.