Slow Food UK to take up London HQ

Slow Food UK is to make a fresh start and take a big step forward. The Slow Food movement was founded in the 1980s by charismatic Italian Carlo Petrini and has members the length and breadth of the UK championing the cause of good, clean and fair food.

Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food International, warmly welcomed recent developments:

“We need to re-invent Slow Food in the UK to take the movement forward, reach new heights and make our voice heard at the highest levels of government and amongst food policy makers. This we can achieve by bringing our cause to London and playing a full and active part alongside partners who share our ambition to bring about fundamental change in the system of food production.

Good, clean and fair food is a basic right possessed by everyone.”

Faced with a funding crisis at the start of 2009 radical measures were called for and a fresh start was necessary for the national association to fulfil expectations at a time when food issues are at the top of the political agenda. Support for Slow Food in the UK is strong and will ensure a viable future for the association in its new home. The new HQ for Slow Food UK will be in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden in the heart of London and with its historic association with good, clean and fair food is a fitting place to provide a home for Slow Food in the UK.

The establishment of the London HQ has been made possible by the generous and continuing support provided to Slow Food UK by Peter and Juliet Kindersley, the Sheepdrove Trust and Neal’s Yard Remedies.

On behalf of the new association Gerry Danby, Chair of Slow Food UK said:

“Our local groups or convivia have been doing great work at a grassroots level for many years and it is time that Slow Food UK, the national association, lived up to the expectations of its members. A fresh start and, thanks to Peter and Juliet Kindersley, the Sheepdrove Trust and Neal’s Yard Remedies, a new home in the heart of London combined with a more ambitious outlook will help create a national profile for the movement and ensure Slow Food UK becomes an authoritative voice on key issues of the day in current debates on the state of the nation’s diet.

The new leadership of Slow Food UK brings together professional skills and combines these with some of the best known experts working at the heart of those key issues . We welcome Prue Leith and Craig Sams to the Board of Trustees who will be known to many for their outstanding contributions to the cause of good, clean and fair food. Kevin Kibble is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in fundraising for the third sector and is an expert on questions of governance and accountability. Our Advisory Board will further strengthen our ability to contribute to the future development of food policy and make the voice of Slow Food heard.”

Catherine Gazzoli, General Secretary of the new association, brings a wealth of talent and experience to the task of leading the changes. Catherine has firsthand experience of food policy and sustainable living for indigenous farmers from her work with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and International Fund for Agricultural Development. With the United Nations Secretariat, Catherine has worked with the African Union and the Organization of American States in Latin America on international development projects and, during her time in Australia, was responsible for improving micro-credit opportunities for Aboriginal communities.

Catherine will work to fulfil the Slow Food ambition that people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet.

For more information contact: Gerry Danby on 01422 248863 or 07850 956655, or Catherine Gazzoli on 07879 065250.

NOTE: The new Board of Trustees of Slow Food UK comprises:

Gerry Danby (Chair)
Kevin Kibble
Prue Leith
Silvia Monasterolo
Ian Pratt
Alan Roe (Vice-Chair)
Craig Sams

Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organisation that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Today, we have over 85,000 members in 132 countries. Further information can be found at www.slowfood.org.uk and old.slowfood.com.

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