About Us

Our History

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. Slow Food was started by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists in the 1980s with the initial aim to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life.

A key tenant of the movement focuses on eating locally and using fresh products, instead of eating at commercially mass-produced fast food restaurants. Slow Food is an organization that promotes local food and traditional cooking. 

Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. Slow Food opposes fast food and the disappearance of local and ethnic dishes. It alerts people to the consequences of a fast-paced lifestyle and seeks to reawaken people's love for the food they eat.



Slow food is all about a commitment to quality instead of a commitment to speed. ... The slow food movement was created to counteract fast food and the lifestyle that accompany it. Slow food is food that was grown locally (preferably organically and in season) by farmers and workers who are paid fairly. An example of slow food is a salad made from vegetables grown in your own garden.

Numbers speak for themselves!

160 +

Countries Worldwide

20 +

SA Communities


Ark of Taste Products (SA)

Since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.


We gather together in solidarity to share and learn across our diversities and differences at events that raise awareness and connect us to local producers.

Some of us are helping to build the 10 000 Gardens in Africa network, others are populating the Ark of Taste archive, or are forming food communities of like minded of chefs, fishers or indigenous food activists.

One of the most powerful acts common to us all is to buy and eat locally produced foods as much as possible, no matter how little. Supporting small scale local farmers, producers and retailers, be they subsistence or profitable enterprises, actively shifts support away from the dominant food value chain and gradually grows an alternative.


Slow Food in South Africa

Slow Food in South Africa is made up of a network of food communities, supporters, producers, participants, activists and volunteers that reflect the diversities and extremes of our country.


The joys of sharing good, clean and fair food is always a key focus, and participation or contributions from anyone keen to volunteer or join in is welcomed.

We create awareness about the need to transform the dominant food system to achieve Good, Clean and Fair Food for All in our country.

We embrace the principles of environmental sustainability, social justice and food security and sovereignty.

We aim to support keeping our rich local food biodiversity and traditions alive.

Living Slow

  • Purchase food in season

  • Support local producers

  • Buy from small businesses

  • Consider food waste

  • Embrace artisinal products

  • Get to know producers

  • Know your food

  • Grow your own

  • Share what you learn

  • Get involved in your community

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