History of Slow Food

History of Slow Food

Slow Food was founded as a wine and food association by food activist Carlo Petrini in the small northern Italian town of Bra in 1986. Its initial aim was to support and defend good food, the enjoyment of eating and a slow pace of life. It then broadened to encompass a wider quality of life and sustainability and environmental issues.

As the founder and driving force of Slow Food, Carlo has led the movement to great international visibility – with over 100,000 members in 150 countries worldwide.

Among his many achievements is Terra Madre, a ground-breaking meeting of 5000 food producers from all over the world held in Turin, Italy every two years, to connect and empower farming communities to share solutions to common issues.

He is also responsible for the creation of the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences, the first academic institution to offer an interdisciplinary approach to food studies.

Carlo is the author of several books and as a journalist contributes frequently to many newspapers and publications. His skills as a communicator and the originality and importance of his message, implemented through Slow Food projects round the world, have aroused the interest of international opinion leaders and media. In 2004 he was named a European Hero by Time magazine and in 2008 he was the only Italian to appear in the The Guardian’s list of 50 People Who could Save the World.


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