Slow Pack Prize 2014

27 Oct 2014

We generally think that it’s what’s on the inside is important, but this is not true when it comes to food packaging. Packaging is important. It helps protect and preserve the products we consume. However, packaging also leads to huge amounts of waste and comes at a large environmental cost. The production of the glass, plastic cardboard and aluminum that contain your food consume energy and resources. Most packaging ends up in landfill or is incinerated, actions that pollute the air we breathe and the soils we farm.


Packaging has long been the elephant in the room of food sustainability, but attitudes are beginning to change. Concerns about the impact on the environment and health concerns about toxic compounds leeching into the food we eat have led to the emergence of “no packaging” shops. Governments are also investing more money to tackle the problem, through initiatives as diverse as edible packaging and nanotechnology. But Slow Food’s answer is a little simpler…


Enter the Slow Pack Prize: a prize awarded to highlight different forms of eco-friendly packaging. The Prize has four different categories, which emphasize different aspects that can be said to constitute a “Slow Pack”. These are traditional techniques and materials; innovative techniques and materials; narrative quality of the product; and the pack’s production chain. Let’s take a look at this year’s winners:


Traditional Techniques and Materials

This category had two winners…

Bali artisan salt from Jakarta: “For its use of local volcanic rock as a packaging material. The packaging can be reused in a huge number of ways after its usage.”

Nzoia River Reed Salt Presidia from Kenya (pictured): “For the products strong connection between the products packaging and its land of production. The judges felt it represented man’s capacity to work within his environment.”


Innovative Techniques and Materials

This category was won by Olio Quotidiano DOP from Liguria: “For it’s modern interpretation of materials for use in packaging.”

Narrative Quality of the Product

Saison Muricy Experimental Beer from Brazil: “For the way the product offers high quality information on the bottle in an easy-to-read way. The label offers geographic co-ordinates and has a QR code – allowing buyers to trace its production chain. The label also gives extensive tasting notes and geographic comments about the beer.”


The Pack’s Production Chain

Pannetone Loison from Venice: “For the way the packaging reflects the eco-sustainable and traditional values embodied by the products.”


Special Mentions for Social Sustainability:

Le Furezze Biscuits from Bovolone: “For an innovative production method that includes its staff in an innovative way.”

Three Presidia Pannetone Fraccaro Spumadoro: “For the involvement of three small Slow Food Presidia (Siwa Oasis Dates, Mananara Vanilla and Gargano Citrus Fruits) and their final action of donating the proceeds to support for the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.”


Andrew Wanyonyi Sikangri, producer of River Reed Salt, told Salone, “Kept in a warm dry place the pack will last a hundred years – and it cannot be harmful to anyone!” All the winning products, and many more like them, are available among the markets and stalls of Salone. Be sure to stop and say hello, and buy their products! Support the work they are doing! And think twice the next time you put that individually packaged apple in your trolley!

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