The Slow Food Presidia are concrete examples of Slow Food’s politics on food and food production.
They are therefore effective tools in exemplifying and disseminating the main themes of Slow Food’s campaigns.
The Slow Food cheese Presidia protect traditional, raw milk dairy production and remote mountain areas. They are the witnesses of the “Slow Cheese” campaign, which supports raw milk, promotes traditional productions and not those that have been rendered homologous by chemical enzymes, protects mountain area productions, their pastures, high-mountain dairies and pastoral economies. Every two years Slow Food organizes the event “Cheese”, which showcases the campaign and provides an important exhibition space for all of the Slow Food Cheese Presidia producers.
The Slow Food fish and seafood Presidia help preserve fishery resources and traditional fishing methods. They are therefore a virtuous example for the international Slow Fish campaign, which promotes respect for marine ecosystems and a collective, responsible management of fishery resources on behalf of fishing communities. Every two years Slow Food organizes the event “Slow Fish” which showcases the campaign and is a meeting point for fish and seafood Slow Food Presidia producers and communities.
The Slow Food animal breeds and animal products Presidia, in contrast to industrial farms, involve the use of sustainable practices and are attentive to animal welfare. Production protocols, for instance, prohibit the use of mutilations and set a minimum space available to each animal. These Slow Food Presidia are pilot projects within a a more general strategy to reduce the consumption of meat from intensive farms and to positively influence European policies on animal welfare.
The Slow Food plant variety Presidia require that producers select and reproduce the seeds themselves, thereby contributing to preserve the purity and authenticity of their products, strengthening the enduring bond they have with the land. They are therefore important witnesses of the Slow Food campaign in defence of traditional seeds and farmer’s rights to select, reproduce, exchange and sell their seeds.
Slow Food honey Presidia protect particular ecosystems (sometimes enhancing them through rare mono-floral varieties, such as rhododendron high-mountain honey), but also through different species of bees at risk of extinction and, in some regions of the world, traditional bee-keeping methods (such as the techniques based on the used of kafò in Africa). Alongside the Slow Food Presidia, Slow Food continues to lead its campaign against the use of pesticides in agriculture and neonicotinoids (the main cause of decline in the bee population begun in 2007) in particular.
Numerous Slow Food Presidia involve indigenous communities and represent a larger campaign carried out by Slow Food and Terra Madre in defence of the rights and cultures of indigenous peoples.