The creation of Slow Food Great China was officially announced on January 27, at the Italian Cultural Institute in Beijing in the presence of the President of Slow Food Great China, Mrs. Qiao Ling; Mr. Yang Fanxing, membership development and service department director of the Ministry of Agriculture of the PRC China Association for the promotion of international agricultural cooperation; Mr. Paolo Di Croce, General Secretary of Slow Food International; and the Italian ambassador in Beijing, Alberto Bradanini.
Qiao Ling emphasized that she is honored to take on the office of President of Slow Food Great China, but also recognized that it would be challenge stating that “although China is based on agriculture, agriculture as well as farmers and the countryside constitute the country’s biggest problem. However, after 20 years of fast development, China is now finally paying more attention to quality and sustainability. An adequate slowness has to be the pace for development in order to diminish social inequality. Development has created many problems in the food industry and I think that Slow Food can help us to go back to our origins and preserve the rich gastronomic diversity in China”. Yang Fanxing agreed with Qiao Ling by saying that a slow life and slow development is desirable, especially because “slow development is directly related to food security”.
Slow Food Great China will form part of the international Slow Food association, referring to its values, principles, processes and structure. Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. It was founded in Italy (where its headquarters are still based) in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. Today Slow Food involves millions of people in over 150 countries.
China has an essential role in the food system and can play a crucial part in the fight to save the planet’s food biodiversity, a main focus for the global vision of Slow Food. “With its vast culinary culture, its wealth of plant and animal diversity, and with the choices of Chinese consumers impacting the entire planet, China cannot not be a country in which we work,” said Paolo Di Croce. He also emphasized that the objective of Slow Food Great China will be to guarantee that everyone has access to good, clean, and fair food.
The objectives of the newly formed organization are:
- to support the development of Slow Food ideas, presented in its vision, mission and philosophy;
- to create a forum to exchange experiences of Chinese food culture and further develop the ideas of Slow Food;
- to plan gatherings in China, as well as a Chinese Terra Madre meeting, focused on issues and challenges specific to the country;
- to broaden understanding of the work of Slow Food through seminars, printed materials, educational activities and training;
- to increase awareness of the Slow Food principles at all political levels;
- to support the international projects and activities of Slow Food, actively promoting them and raising awareness.
For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:
Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected]