The next stage of Slow Food Presidia in Italy
The currently 250 Italian Presidia are the result of 10 years of work that has reinforced our fundamental values: the protection of biodiversity, territories and knowledge of traditional productions. These values are expressed in our efforts to encourage producers to adopt clean, sustainable production practices and develop an ethical (fair) approach to the market.
In practice, the Slow Food Presidia:
• have effectively contributed to saving numerous animal breeds, plant species, cheese, breads and cured meats at risk of extinction;
• have helped hundreds of producers to continue with their activity, encouraging contact with consumers that are concerned about quality and willing to pay a fair price;
• have tangibly contributed to demonstrating that another system of agriculture and food production is possible;
• are a benchmark for many small-scale producers and food communities across the world (including those beyond the Slow Food network);
• are models for other small-scale producers with whom Slow Food works and collaborates to set up projects related improving quality and production for daily consumption;
• are an important reservoir of knowledge and experience that is passed on to other producers during exchanges and collaborations, constituting fundamental nodes in the big Slow Food network.In 2008, 10 years after the project was launched, Slow Food Italy welcomed a request from producers: the creation and assignment of a “brand” for the purpose of identification, protection and promotion, to appear on the product packaging, so that consumers can identify Presidia products and protect themselves from an increasing number of imitations on the market.
Slow Food Italy registered the “Presìdi Slow Food” brand and creating a new graphic logo (different to Slow Food’s snail symbol) and a set of regulations: only producers who have signed the production rules are authorized to use the new logo.
Slow Food Italy will not limit itself to assigning a logo, but further, will provide producers with consulting and communication services through its collaborators on the ground, experts in the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity and the Slow Food Italy Presidia office.
The marketing of Presidia products has always been carried out directly by producers themselves or producer consortiums. Slow Food does not receive any part of the profits from sales of Presidia products, unless these have been voluntarily allocated by producers to support Slow Food’s fundraising campaigns or international campaigns of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.
Producers that partake in the project accept both the self-monitoring by their own association, and checks by Slow Food Italy (through the regional association and the experts of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity) whose objective is to ensure the production protocol and general guidelines of the project are respected.
Participation in this new phase of the project also means supporting the Slow Food association in its complex cultural commitment, not just in its projects to safeguard biodiversity. To do so, Slow Food has launched a management model that, without losing any of its values, rather reinforcing them, will have from now on also on the partial financial support from the producers themselves (with some exceptions, due to the small size of the Presidium , or situations of difficulty) and include a greater responsibility for the Presidium, both in control of their own production as well as in the organization of the association’s activities.
The Italian Presdia project is coordinated by Slow Food Italy with technical and scientific support by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.