The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity was founded in 2003 to develop projects and new economic models to support the Terra Madre food communities. The Foundation’s activities are focused on protecting food biodiversity and traditions, and promoting sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty. Projects are being put into practice all around the world, with an increasing focus on supporting initiatives in developing nations.
The Presidia projects support groups of small-scale producers who sustain quality production at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods and safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties. To date, more than 400 Presidia have been created around the world, involving over 12,000 producers.
The Ark of Taste was launched to rediscover, catalog and promote foods that are closely linked to specific communities and cultures but are threatened by industrial standardization. Today the Ark lists more than 1,100 unique foods from 50 countries. The Foundation has set an ambitious goal to board thousands more products over the next few years, tracking them down in every corner of the planet to provide a great step forward in protecting edible biodiversity.
The Foundation’s network of Earth Markets – where small-scale producers and farmers sell their products directly to consumers - now includes more than 30 markets in 8 countries. These farmers’ markets are run according to specific Slow Food principles and are overseen by a community management group.
The Alliance Between Chefs and Slow Food Presidia was launched in Italy in 2009 to build a large network of chefs committed to supporting the Presidia and small-scale producers by using and promoting their products. The project spread to the Netherlands in 2012 and Morocco in 2013, and will soon be arriving in other countries around the world. Currently around 350 chefs / restaurants are participating.
A Thousand Gardens in Africa was launched with the Terra Madre communities in 25 African countries to create food gardens in schools, villages and urban fringe areas. The gardens aim to preserve biodiversity and enhance farmers' autonomy and community strength by cultiviating local varieties using sustainable and organic methods and encouraging knowledge exchange and seed preservation.
Some of the Italian and international Presidia have added a "narrative label” to their products, a project launched in 2011 to go beyond legal requirements and tell the whole 'story' of a food. Narrative lables include information on varieties and breeds, farming and processing techniques, area of origin, animal welfare and preservation and consumption.
The Slow Food Foundation is funded by Slow Food in partnership with the Tuscany Regional Authority and through support from institutions, private companies, and other foundations. It guarantees transparency in the use of the funds received and produces an annual Social Report.
Visit the website to find out more, and discover the hundreds of Presidia and Ark of Taste products:
Visit the Earth Market website to meet producers in cities around the world: