Collectively our consumer choices can bring great change to how food is cultivated and produced.

To highlight this, Slow Food coined the term co-producer – a consumer who goes beyond the passive role of a consumer and takes an interest in those that produce our food, how they produce it and the problems they face in doing so. In actively supporting food producers, we become part of the production process.

Where possible, co-producers maintain close relationships with farmers, fishermen, breeders, cheesemakers etc., not only purchasing from them but also seeking for information and advice. In this way we can learn more about quality and increase our understanding of what a healthier, tastier and more responsible diet means in our region. Direct contact between consumers and producers is one of the most effective ways of achieving this result and regular farmers’ markets in a community is one of the most convenient and enjoyable ways to strengthen this relationship.

When direct contact is not possible, consumers can try to seek out retailers that have a close relationship with producers, and can talk in an informed way about food they sell (its origin, cultivation and production techniques etc.).

With more aware and informed consumers – co-producers – farmers are also more motivated to work using techniques that safeguard food diversity, the environment and quality. Together we can work to shorten the food supply chain.

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