Slow Food Bar­ba­dos — A New Movement

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Slow Food is a global, grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion with sup­port­ers in 150 coun­tries around the world who are link­ing the plea­sure of good food with a com­mit­ment to their com­mu­nity and the environment…Slow Food unites the plea­sure of food with respon­si­bil­ity, sus­tain­abil­ity and har­mony with nature.

Those are the words of Carlo Petrini, Pres­i­dent of Slow Food. This orga­ni­za­tion aims to reduce the amount of food that is imported into coun­tries all over the world, while sup­port­ing local farms, chefs and other small scale pro­duc­ers. It is a move­ment that seeks to encour­age per­sons to “eat local.” Slow Food defines the qual­ity of fresh, and whole­some, food by these three principles:

  • GOOD – A fresh, flavour­ful, sea­sonal diet that sat­is­fies the senses and is an aspect of the local culture.
  • CLEAN – food that is pro­duced in har­mony with the envi­ron­ment and human health; i.e. food pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion that does not cause harm to the envi­ron­ment, ani­mal wel­fare or to human health.
  • FAIR – food that is afford­able and thus eas­ily acces­si­ble for all con­sumers, as well as con­di­tions and pay that are fair for small scale producers.

This ini­tia­tive was founded in 1989 in an attempt to cur­tail the decreas­ing promi­nence of local food tra­di­tions, indi­vid­u­als’ lack of inter­est in the ori­gins of the food they eat and the gen­eral impact of food choices on the wider global envi­ron­ment. Addi­tion­ally, it was a move­ment designed to coun­ter­act fast food and fast life.

The Slow Food asso­ci­a­tion con­sists of over 100,000 mem­bers from over 150 coun­tries grouped into local chap­ters who work together to revive their local culi­nary cul­ture. These local chap­ters (also known as The Con­vivia) orga­nize events and activ­i­ties within their respec­tive coun­ties to push the Slow Food movement.

13043732 994516007270474 7988627531775414353 n1The Bar­ba­dos Chap­ter was founded in Sep­tem­ber 2012 (mak­ing the island the 161st nation to sign on to the Slow Food Move­ment) through a part­ner­ship with the local Organic Grow­ers and Con­sumers Asso­ci­a­tion. The move­ment was formed in Bar­ba­dos out of a con­cern of the increased reg­u­lar­ity of food imports, a pas­sion for good qual­ity food and a need to recon­nect farm­ers with the com­mu­nity. It was acknowl­edged that buy­ing locally helps to sup­port the local econ­omy, while sub­se­quently reduc­ing Bar­ba­dos’ food import bill by approx­i­mately $500 mil­lion per year. By doing this, the demand and use of local food would increase, and this increase in demand would also sub­se­quently decrease the cost of local food.

The aim of the Bar­ba­dos chap­ter is to recon­nect per­sons in the island with the key aspects in food pro­duc­tion: the peo­ple, tra­di­tions, plants, ani­mals, fer­tile soils and waters. The orga­ni­za­tion also aims to pro­tect the rich her­itage, tra­di­tions and cul­ture that food makes pos­si­ble. A key ini­tia­tive of the Chap­ter is to revive youths’ inter­est in food, while pro­vid­ing them with the knowl­edge about where the food they eat comes from.

Other goals of the move­ment include edu­cat­ing indi­vid­u­als about food, pro­tect­ing the envi­ron­ment through cre­ation of gar­dens and their seed pro­gramme and con­nect­ing chefs and farm­ers to each other and the wider com­mu­nity. These goals are achieved through sev­eral of Slow Food Bar­ba­dos ini­tia­tives:

  • Slow Fish – the offi­cial Slow Food cam­paign for sus­tain­able fish­eries, aim­ing to pro­mote sus­tain­able fish­ing methods.
  • Edu­ca­tional Gar­dens – Slow Food works with 12 schools through­out the year to train stu­dents, teach­ers and a cre­ated gar­den com­mit­tee on how to grow good, clean and fair food and help them cre­ate their own gardens.
  • Chef Alliance – seeks to pro­mote locally based chefs to actively cham­pion small scale pro­duc­ers and pro­mote good qual­ity, local and sus­tain­ably pro­duced food.
  • Slow Cin­ema – monthly movie night that aims to enhance to knowl­edge of the envi­ron­ment, food sys­tem and pro­duc­tion meth­ods in Bar­ba­dos.
  • Farm to Table – a din­ing expe­ri­ence fea­tur­ing chefs and restau­rants that share the core prin­ci­ples and val­ues of Slow Food Bar­ba­dos. The meals fea­ture the best of locally har­vested food.
  • Farm to Chef – a tra­di­tional out­door mar­ket­place that seeks to con­nect locals and vis­i­tors with farm­ers and chefs.
  • The Snail of Approval – Slow Food Bar­ba­dos’ way of recog­nis­ing the pro­duc­ers, co-​producers and donors that make sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the trans­for­ma­tion of the national food sys­tem of Barbados.
  • Terra Madre – Slow Food Inten­tional Day (Decem­ber 10th) seeks to bring aware­ness to the local net­work of food com­mu­ni­ties who seek to pro­mote a new food cul­ture con­sis­tent with the aims of Slow Food Barbados.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Slow Food Bar­ba­dos at This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

© Photo 1 & 2 taken from Fbcdn​.net
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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