Food is a unique asset but, stripped of its spiritual, cultural and immaterial value, it is now regarded as just another consumer good.
In a food system increasingly driven by the logic of the market, the belief has made headway that food has got to be cheap, regardless of its intrinsic value.
This cultural model, in which the only benchmark criterion is price, has triggered the boom of the agrifood business, capable of supplying large quantities of cheap food, to the detriment of small farmers.
The system has broken the bond between the people who produce food and the people who eat it, leading to:
- a decreased sense of mutual responsibility;
- the dwindling of a vital store of knowledge;
- the impossibility for consumers to access information.
Slow Food is committed to reversing the logic of a system in which food value has been supplanted by food price by
- rebuilding the relationship between producer and consumer;
- restoring to food the value it deserves;
- making price reflect that value once more.
Slow Food believes that consumers can use their buying power to influence supply and production methods.
Slow Food believes that consumers should show an active interest in food and the people who produce it, the methods they use and the problems they face.
Slow Food believes that consumers should actively support producers, and thus play a leading role in the productive process.
Slow Food has coined the term "co-producer" to describe this new consumer model. By making informed, responsible choices and forging a direct link with what's on their plate and the people who put it there, co-producers will be in a position to recognise food's intrinsic value and pay the right price for it.
Equipped with appropriate knowledge, co-producers possess the power to redirect food production and the market. Hence the importance of education-lots of it!