Cooperation – The Community Spirit
Slow Food’s vision of cooperation and development is based on food as a driving force for change. Its is a holistic approach which centres round food but encompasses other issues-biodiversity and environmental protection, promotion of local communities and their traditions and culture, just remuneration for producers-normally viewed as separate.
Slow Food believes that by protecting its food products, plant varieties and animal breeds, it is also possible to protect a community.
Hence its coining of the term “Food Communities” to describe the many trades and professions involved in the food production and supply chain; from seed savers, cooks, farmers and fishers to wild food gatherers, livestock breeders, scholars and others still.
There are now Food Communities in over 130 countries, joined together in a network in which the watchword is “cooperation”.
Besides playing a fundamental role in food security and sovereignty, the protection of local food products also has a strong social and cultural impact. Slow Food’s micro-interventions round the world have great symbolic significance for each single community.
True, they help solve crises and produce economic results, but they also do much, much more than that. By raising the profile of the culture a food product represents they restore pride and dignity to the people who grow and process it. Besides providing money and aid, they also instil confidence and motivation.