Slow Food Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto
Many injustices still exist within our food system. Our local and national work is to dismantle these structures.
ExcErpt From the Slow Food Nations Report, July 2018:
Slow Food’s formal commitment to food justice has been several years in the making, and follows efforts at the local, national and global levels to reposition the organization to be better known for its work opposing land-grabbing in Africa than, say, promoting farm-to-table dinners. Slow Food USA executive director Richard McCarthy adds, “This difficult shift to embrace joy with justice in both words and actions has been led by local chapters who have purposefully invited advocates of color to inform and steer Slow Food work on the ground to address injustices that disproportionately impact the communities most negatively affected by the industrial food system.”
This difficult shift to embrace joy with justice in both words and actions has been led by local chapters who have purposefully invited advocates of color to inform and steer Slow Food work on the ground to address injustices that disproportionately impact the communities most negatively affected by the industrial food system.
Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini’s book, Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean and Fair provides a formula for the Good, Clean and Fair guiding principles. However, Slow Food USA has struggled to diversify its membership and leadership and to relaunch its brand to reflect a full-fledged commitment to food justice, communities of color, and the belief that the spoils of the good food movement are to be enjoyed by all. We are excited to share the “Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto” with you. It comes as a practical response to Carlo’s insistence that Slow Food has always meant to be a movement more than just another non-governmental organization.
In the years since, Slow Food’s 1989 founding Manifesto was written and signed with much fanfare in Paris, the food movement has evolved. When reread today, it is easy to understand why new proclamations are necessary to capture the full breadth of the movement and the values that inspire those to garden, change public policy, and forge community via food. Moreover, many new voices have joined Slow Food to articulate equally holistic concerns previously left out of the discourse. For instance, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, Good Food For All, the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, and others provide complementary and authentic critiques of a food system shaped by unsustainable desires for scale, speed, efficiency and an innate need to treat people and places as objects from which to extract resources. Not only do we find it deeply encouraging that regenerative alternatives are aligning around some version of good, clean and fair, but that many organizations mirror Slow Food’s desire to express alternatives ways to win both hearts and minds of eaters of all walks of life via creative means, like the publication of manifestos. We are proud of the sharing of the Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto and trust that the commitment to justice will adjoin other poetic and authentic expressions for social change, like The Food and Farm Manifesto authored by the Americas for Conservation and the Arts and the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association.
Special Thanks to the Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto Working Group:
Jacquelyn Ann Ross