Since the late 1990s, Slow Food Italy has been concerned about raw milk and has organized a number of important initiatives to raise awareness about the issue.
This concern led to the inauguration of Cheesein 1997, an event dedicated to milk in all its shapes and forms. 2011 sees the eighth edition of the event, which has created space for a wide-ranging debate on the subject.
One of the first initiatives specifically dedicated to raw milk was the collection of signatures to support the campaign and the Slow Food Manifesto in defense of raw-milk cheeses. Around 20,000 signatures were collected online and on paper.
The campaign mobilized the association's entire network around Italy and over time helped raise awareness among thousands of people through Taste Workshops, Master of Food courses, events with producers and articles in the local media.
The network has also worked to identify, support and promote artisanal raw-milk cheeses in all regions of Italy and create Presidia projects. The Slow Food Presidia protocols, the Earth Market guidelines and the guidelines for selecting producers for Slow Food's international events have gradually incorporated the campaign's issues. The Slowfood magazine has also done its part in encouraging a constructive debate.
In 2009, together with the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Slow Food organized a conference entitled "Milk, eating it raw and safely is the result of modern technology," which heard many arguments in favor of raw milk consumption.
Our work continues. Safety does not have to mean standardization.