Slow Food promotes the right to choose what makes up our daily diet for all people, including the knowledge and freedom to choose what to grow, and how food is treated and distributed.
In January 2004, the Manifesto on the Future of Food was presented at the Social Forum in Mumbai by the scientist and Slow Food vice-president Vandana Shiva and president of the Region of Tuscany Claudio Martini. Drafted by the Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, which includes Slow Food, this manifesto addresses all public administrators from around the world and was delivered to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Cancun, Mexico.
Following the Manifesto on the Future of Food, the Manifesto on the Future of Seeds was published in 2006 and the Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security was presented at Slow Food’s International Salone del Gusto in 2008.
In 2010 Slow Food joined a coalition of European organizations who have created a declaration as the first step in efforts to build a broad movement of change towards food sovereignty. The European Food Declaration outlines the group's recommended policy objectives for the next several decades of the Common Agriculture and Food Policy (CAP) - the EU's system of agricultural subsidies and programs, due for renewal in 2013. “After more than a half-century of industrialization of agriculture and food production, sustainable family farming and local food cultures have been substantially reduced,” the declaration states. “Today, our food system is dependent on under-priced fossil fuels, does not recognize the limitations of water and land resources, and supports unhealthy diets.” The declaration calls for a healthy, sustainable and fair CAP, and highlights twelve key principles including encouraging the production and consumption of local, seasonal, high quality products, reconnecting citizens with their food and food producers, and considering food as a universal human right, not merely a commodity.
Many of Slow Food’s projects in the developing world are concerned with improving communities’ food security, by supporting the continued use of indigenous crops and breeds, and maintaining culinary traditions. More than 300 Presidia projects around the world provide direct support to around 10,000 small-scale producers, aiding them to continue cultivation and transformation of local foods that in turn helps ensure the sustainability of the entire community.
Many of Slow Food’s education projects work towards the same goal, with activities lead by Terra Madre food communities and Slow Food convivia around the world raising awareness of local food traditions and the benefits of maintaining control over food production. Food and taste education uses a wide variety of approaches to approach food sovereignty, from raising awareness of the sensory qualities of local products, to visits to producers to understand the situation facing small-scale farmers first hand.