After a UK re-structuring that paved the way for separate bodies for Scotland, Wales and England, a one-day event saw the birth of the Scottish arm of the organization with a gathering of Scotland’s leading food campaigners. The 50 or so people packed in the farmhouse kitchen on Newmilns Farm came from both inside and outside of the Slow Food movement, but shared a common commitment to building a more positive food culture in Scotland – one that would ultimately share Slow Food’s values of ‘good, clean and fair’.
Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, wrote in his greeting: “I am delighted to hear of the incredible energy of our movement in Scotland, and at the same time, to sense that in ever corner of the UK our volunteers, local groups, our local people are working for a profound change in the food system.”
Speakers like Mike Small of The Fife Diet and Ben Reade of the Nordic Food Lab continued that challenge, drawing on their experience from Scotland, and further afield. Representing the original roots of Slow Food in Scotland, Pam Rodway of Crofting Connections spoke movingly of the simple, but profound role of the table, and how sharing food rests at the very centre of a movement that has never forgotten that the pleasures of food are an important right that should be denied to no-one on the planet.
Working groups completed the day, generating the ideas that will form the basis for action at Slow Food Scotland. With over half of the attendees signing-up as volunteers there is certainly no lack of commitment to continuing the momentum that the birth of Slow Food in Scotland has clearly generated.
John Cooke, Scotland representative on the Slow Food UK Board concluded: “This has been a very special moment. The energy, commitment and determination that have lit up Founders’ Day, coupled with our global connections and support, make it clear that Slow Food can continue to make a unique and growing contribution in Scotland. Like the symbolic apple tree we planted outside the kitchen door at the end of the day, from these fresh roots, healthy growth will come.”