EXCLUSIVE – Western Australia’s Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman launched the new Small Food Awards this Wednesday, to recognize and support the development of a ‘small, slow food’ culture across nation’s largest state.
The awards, which were launched at a reception in Perth for Slow Food president Carlo Petrini, are an initiative of Slow Food Perth and will honour the best producers and food enterprises according to the association’s good, clean and fair principles.
Producers and businesses will be awarded in several categories: rural enterprise, indigenous food, food heritage, local grocer, local butcher, local cook or chef, local vigneron or winemaker, local hero, and school or community garden.
‘We should do everything possible to encourage the maintenance of the rich heritage of small rural communities and food diversity. We see these awards as a significant way of sustaining rural community continuity and development and building a small, slow food culture in Western Australia,’ said Slow Food Perth co-leaders Pauline Tresise and Jamie Kronborg.
‘Western Europe has an age-old heritage of food production on a village scale…Conversely, Australia has been dominated since the second half of the twentieth century by commodity-driven, export-oriented, broadacre agriculture. Slow Food in Australia is setting out in 2009 to foster ‘small food’ in what might be called a ‘big food’ nation,’ they said.
Minister Redman said consumers the world over were looking for safe, quality food produced by reliable farmers – big and small.
‘The State Government recognises these market demands and has been working with various sectors of the food chain, including Slow Food Perth, to ensure we can meet the requirements of our markets,’ he said. ‘Slow Food Perth is doing some excellent work to strengthen people’s connection with the food they eat by developing a greater understanding of where the food comes from and how it is produced.’
The first nominations will be called for in January next year.
Carlo Petrini is continuing his visit to Australia in Sydney, where he will speak at the Sydney Opera House this Sunday in one of the key events of the 2009 Sydney International Food Festival.
Good, Clean & Fair: an afternoon with Carlo Petrini in conversation with Joanna Savill – Sunday October 18, 2pm
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For more information about the Small Food Awards contact Slow Food Perth: [email protected]