Frequently Asked Questions

Slow Food Australia
What is Slow Food?

Slow Food is all about Good, Clean and Fair Food available to everyone. We actively protect our unique biodiversity and food traditions, by promoting food choices that are good for us, good for our environment, and good for the people who produce it. So in many ways, Slow Food is the opposite of Fast Food.

Why the name Slow Food?

It is a way of saying no to the rise of Fast Food and fast life.

Why the snail symbol?

The snail was chosen because it moves slowly, calmly eating its way through life. It also happens to be a culinary specialty in the area around the northern Italian town of Bra, where the Slow Food movement was born.

What’s the history of Slow Food?

In 1986, McDonald’s wanted to open a franchise at the base of the Spanish Steps. The Italians were not pleased about that, so they gathered for a protest. Instead of just waving signs and chanting, they brought a big bowl of penne pasta and handed it out to the crowd that gathered. People shared a meal at the Spanish Steps and began chanting “we don’t want Fast Food, we want Slow Food.” That gathering was the foundation for the birth of the Slow Food movement. Officially founded in Italy in 1989, the Slow Food mission was to counter the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat and where it comes from. Today, there are over 100,000 Slow Food members promoting good, clean and fair food in 150 countries.

Slow Food Australia was founded in 1995 by Maggie Beer. At the moment there are 17 local convivia (communities) and about 850 members – which we’re hoping to grow to many more in the future!

Does Slow Food have to be (certified) organic food?

No. Slow Food is food that’s good for us, good for our environment and good for the people who grow, pick and prepare it. In other words, food that is good, clean and fair. And often, there is a trade off between these things. Not all certified organic farms have practices we can stand behind. And there are plenty of small farmers producing food that is good, clean and fair but lacks the organic certification. At Slow Food, we support organic food production that is grown in ways that is good for the environment and the famers and farm workers who grow and pick it. But we could not support organic food at the expense of the people and land behind it. The best thing you can do as a consumer is to learn about the story behind your food, and eat in accordance with what is important to you.

What is Slow Food’s position on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Slow Food is against the commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) crops and promotes GM-free food and animal feed. We believe that all products containing genetically engineered ingredients should be accurately labeled to allow consumers to make educated buying decisions.

Read more about why we are against GMOs.

What is Slow Food’s position on meat consumption?

Slow Food believes that responsible meat consumption means eating a lot less meat which is much better for the planet (climate change), and only eating meat from animals that have been raised with a high quality of life. The cost of meat should reflect the true cost of production and practices that respect animal welfare. We strongly support small-scale farming of heritage breeds as an alternative to factory farms.

Read more about animal welfare and/or our international policy paper on animal welfare.

Why should I become a member of Slow Food Australia? What are the benefits?

Membership with Slow Food offers you opportunities...

To CONNECT with other people locally, nationally and globally who care about the same kinds of things you care about. You receive special invitations and discounts to local, national and international events, including Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto. To LEARN more about good, clean and fair food and the Slow Food movement. You receive a quarterly newsletter from Slow Food Australia as well as news from your local convivium 

To ENGAGE in helping to make a more good, clean and fair food system through national campaigns and local activities/projects.

To SUPPORT an organization that shares your values and is working to make the kind of change in the world you want to see. Your membership card proclaims your commitment to Slow Food values. You ARE the Slow Food movement.

What happens with my membership donation? What does it support?

Your annual membership donation supports local projects making a difference in your community, like school gardens, small-scale producer’s grants, educational activities, and activities that reduce food waste. A part of your membership fee is allocated to national Slow Food projects, including the Australian Ark of Taste program, as well as providing support for global programs like Terra Madre, Presidia Projects and Gardens in Africa.

I live outside Australia. Can I still join Slow Food Australia?

Our members live in Australia. Members outside of the country can join Slow Food at and pick their country of residence. If you live outside Australia but would like to receive Slow Food Australia emails or newsletter, please sign up for our newsletter on the home page.

Can I become a corporate member?

We don’t offer corporate or group memberships, but we can offer a ‘small business sponsorship’, which allows companies to show their support of Slow Food Australia. This AUD$500.-- sponsorship offers two individual memberships for proprietors of the business and donor recognition on our website and in our annual report. There are many other ways companies, organizations and restaurants can get involved locally, nationally and internationally to support our philosophy. Email us to learn more.

Can I use the Slow Food logo for my products or restaurant?

No. The Slow Food logo is a registered trademark and can be used only in connection with Slow Food’s international, national and local group events.

Download guidelines for use of the Slow Food logo.

Can I start my own convivium?

Yes, absolutely! As a member-based organization, Slow Food would mean very little without people that support and further our work to bring pleasure back to the table, educate consumers, defend agricultural biodiversity, build strong food communities and create a system that makes good, clean and fair food available to everyone. There are some rules and guidelines to follow to start up your own convivium – contact us to find out more on how to get started!