by Marta Messa, director of the Slow Food office in Brussels and Slow Food International Councilor.
In January 2020, Slow Food published “An Urgent Call to Slow Down”, calling on everyone belonging to the Slow Food network at every level to help us organize our work more efficiently, and to measure and highlight the impact of our actions to create a better world.
This call to action was intended to be used as a tool for working at all levels of participation in Slow Food– from individual members to Convivia; from national organizations to local and thematic communities– serving as shared guidelines for identifying and setting objectives that make us responsible towards each other.
The call to action starts by outlining the world we want, a world in which everyone, without exception, can enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow, raise, fish or make it and good for the planet. A world in which people are intimately connected to the resilient ecosystems that surrounds them, a world in which everyone respects and values the diversity of people, cultures, places, foods and tastes.
Given the complexity of food systems, there can be no single black-and-white solution. We believe in the strength of collective action that cultivates relationships of trust and achieves shared objectives.
These are the three strategic objectives set out in the call to action:
- to defend biological and cultural diversity
- to educate, inspire and mobilize the world around us
- to influence public decision-makers and the private sector. None of this is new, as these are the objectives we have always set for ourselves. What is recently developed is that for the first time they are articulated in a shared tool–the call to action with the intention of bringing greater clarity of intent to our global movement.
The three strategic objectives are in dialog with each other: pursuing the defense of diversity does not exclude working on education or influencing policies. On the contrary, one of the aspects that makes Slow Food unique is our holistic way of working, with our projects often achieving more than one strategic objective at a time.
The call to action helps us to see more clearly how our individual efforts are connected and how our impact is much more than the sum of our collective actions.
In all of this, the one element that characterizes Slow Food’s engagement is the joy of food as a catalyst for changing the world.