Slow Food is a non-profit, member-supported organisation that was founded in 1989 to counteract the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.
Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable. Since its beginnings in Italy, Slow Food has grown into a vast network spread across 150 countries, with more than 100,000 members. Slow Food organises activities, projects and events all around the world, at all levels – by the convivia (local chapters) at the community level and by Slow Food bodies regionally and at the global level – on four key themes: food education, protecting food biodiversity, developing networks and short food chains.
Slow Food International now hosts some of the world’s largest food festivals, all with an underlying theme of promoting, protecting and sustaining the foods that are being celebrated. Slow Cheese, Slow Fish, Salone del Gusto and Terre Madre are prime examples of this ethos, connecting sustainable farming and fishing to the forks of hundreds of thousands of like-minded visitors annually.
Slow Food Ireland is very active with 14 convivia and over 500 members headed up by Darina Allen of Ballymaloe. The SugarLoaf is one such convivium and as its name suggests is based firmly in the County of Wicklow.
The kernel of this SlowFood idea came about to give an innovative twist on bringing local people into a Festival/Market scenario to serve produce, that they themselves have produced to their fellow locals, rather than the usual remit in Ireland these days of when an organisation want to have a food event, its thought that it is suffice to hold a Farmers market around it!
Here we present a National event that given the correct impetus could become International.