2016 National Conference – Register now

Registrations are now open for the Slow Food in Australia national conference, 17 – 20 November 2016. Slow Food Mildura have put together an exciting program for this year’s theme:

Our Food, Our Country:
Good, Clean, Fair in our past, present and future

Conference activities are designed to give delegates the Mildura experience with lots of hands-on learning, which we believe is how we all learn best. The inaugural Australian Terra Madre event on Saturday is a free event open to the public. It will feature a Slow Food area at the Farmers Market, and concurrent talking circles that will be announced on the day. In the afternoon a speakers panel will address the conference theme, followed by a Q & A.

Draft programme for the conference can be found here.

To register for the conference, click here. Please note that to register you must be a member of an Australian Slow Food convivium.

We look forward to seeing you all in Mildura!

desert quandong

Linking food and land with producers

This will be a hot topic at the 2015 Slow Food Australia National Conference in Ulladulla.

Think of our ancestors.  How they tilled the land.  What they ate. How they produced what went on their plate.  Our indigenous heritage.  Much of these are now forgotten foods and long-lost traditions. But all is not lost.

Attendees at the Slow Food Australia Conference, August 20-23, will be introduced to a range of products which could well have disappeared completely had it not been for some small-scale producers with enough insight to recognize that such produce was worth a fight to reinstate.  These products make it on to an international register of The Ark of Taste.

 Managed globally by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, the Ark of Taste is an international project comprising almost 2,000 products worldwide. Products accepted to the Ark of Taste represent small-scale quality productions strongly linked to a local culture threatened by industrial agriculture, the standardization and large-scale distribution of global food markets and environmental degradation.

 Local products currently identified include the Angasi Oyster, Bull Boar sausage, Bunya Nuts, Central Australian Wild Plum, Dairy Shorthorn cattle breed, Davidson’s Plum, Desert Quandong (Native Peach), Finger Lime,Galloway cattle, Gin Perry Pear, Green Horse Perry Pear, Kangaroo Island Ligurian bee honey, Leatherwood Honey, Moorcroft Perry Pear, Murray Cod, Pindan Walnut, Red Longdon Perry Pear, Rosella jam, Smooth Davidson Plum, Swan Valley Sun-Dried Muscat Grapes, Wessex Saddleback Pig and the Yellow Huffcap Perry Pear.

 Slow Food Conference attendees will get to experience tastings of some Australian Ark of Taste products such as the Tasmanian Leatherwood and Kangaroo Island Ligurian Honey, Bull Boar Sausage, Angasi Oyster (local to the Shoalhaven), Finger Limes, Bunya Nuts and Coorong Wild Seafood.

 “In Australia, the Ark of Taste reflects our country’s vast landscape of diverse climates, cultures and foods – from Queensland’s native Bunya nut to the Ligurian Bee honey found on Flinders Island and Victoria’s heritage pear varieties,” said Jenny Crosby, Slow Food Australia Conference Co-ordinator for Ark of Taste.

“Of particular importance are foods from the traditional diets of indigenous Australians and cultures, such as the Pindan walnut from Western Australia and Finger Limes from Australia’s East Coast. These wild foods reflect not only exciting nutritional and flavour profiles, but also the great importance of cultural knowledge and landscapes and the passing on of that knowledge.”

 “Fast life, intensive production methods and excessive legislation are the main reasons that we are losing so many of our traditional foods and drinks,” according to the UK Ark of Taste.  “With their demise we also lose centuries of expert knowledge and cultural traditions. We lose choice, flavour and the varied landscapes and wildlife associated with traditional farming.  As it is often easier to find food from half way across the world than produced on our doorstep, we have lost the link between our food, the land, and the people who produce it.”

 It is hoped that many more products can be added to the Australian Ark of Taste. Anyone can make a nomination, and can find more at:

www.slowfoodaustralia.com.au/what-we-do/ark-of-taste/

Angasi Oyster

SLOW FISH COMES TO ULLADULLA

Fish:  It’s a slippery issue.  And where better to confront it than in the NSW South Coast harbour hamlet of Ulladulla, host to the 2015 Slow Food Australia National Conference, August 20-23.

Ulladulla has a long fishing history. Aboriginals were featured fishing at Ulladulla Harbour in a sketch drawn in 1828. Many early pioneers of the area listed their occupation as fishermen in the late 1880s.  And trawler operators including members of the Greco, Puglisi, Salafia, Canon, Costa, Lavalle and Dunn families formed the Ulladulla Fisherman Co-operative in March 1956, staging the first Blessing of the Fleet when a crowd of 2,500 people watched the blessing and joined in the Italian community’s Family Picnic Day.  The Blessing of the Fleet Festival continues today.

But where to with sustainable fishing?  Our marine resources are not easy to understand. What state are our waters in?  What fish species are on the verge of extinction?  Can we influence the market?  Should we stop eating fish?  Should we stop fishing?

The Slow Food Australia National Conference, hosted by Slow Food Shoalhaven, will take a look at a lot of such fishy issues during the upcoming event in Ulladulla.

Slow Food’s international Slow Fish campaign promotes small-scale fishing and responsible fish consumption, working to inform people about the richness and fragility of the marine world so that consumers can make more informed choices and widen their choices beyond the most popular – and often overfished – species. The campaign invites consumers, chefs, academics and fishers to find local solutions that support better management of the sea’s resources.

Slow Food believes that small-scale fishers form an essential part of fragile aquatic ecosystems that must be protected along with the biodiversity of marine species. Slow Food promotes artisanal fishing and neglected fish species and works to inspire reflection on the state and management of the sea’s resources.

Participating in the Slow Fish discussions will be some of Australia’s leading industry professionals highlighting various aspects of sustainable fishing.

Academic and marine systems ecologist, Dr. Pia Winberg, Founder and Chief Scientist of Venus Shell Systems, will begin the discussions with her topic, Bio Food for the Shoalhaven.  Pia has been working across both industry development and academia for the past 15 years and has a background in marine systems ecology. Her main research interest is in marine food production systems that are sustainably integrated with the coastal and marine environment and her published research efforts span aquaculture and sustainable estuarine systems.  Pia has developed a focus on the development of seaweed cultivation systems for Australia. Australia is placed to contribute to the value adding of seaweed metabolites, species diversity and quality control systems from production to processing.

Joining Pia will be farmer, cook and television presenter, Matthew Evans, on sustainable fishing and Food labelling for Fish.  For nearly two decades, Matthew has been writing about food and more recently presenting a television show called Gourmet Farmer.  

A celebratory Slow Fish Dinner will be held at Rick Stein at Bannisters where Matthew Evans will talk on ‘Sustainable fish choices for Australia’ and oyster farmer, David Maidment, will discuss the Angasi Oyster.  David has a post graduate diploma of Aquaculture, is a Churchill Fellow and has been heavily involved in the oyster industry over the years, reintroducing the Ostrea angasi flat oysters to NSW.

The Slow Food Australia National Conference, hosted by Slow Food Shoalhaven, will be held in Ulladulla, August 20-23 2015.

 

For further information, www.slowfoodshoalhaven.com.au

AUSTRALIAN ARTISAN CHEESE HIGHLIGHTED

The increasing profile of Australian artisan cheese will be one topic taking centre stage at the Slow Food Australia National Conference in Ulladulla next month.

One of Australia’s foremost Artisan Cheesemakers, Kris Lloyd, will join fellow guest speakers in discussing the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair food.  Cheese will be celebrated as a moment to bring together the pleasure of good food with an awareness and responsibility towards related issues such as raw milk, animal welfare and sustainable management of landscapes.

Currently the Director of CheeseFest, Australia’s largest celebration of cheese (held annually in South Australia), Kris is also a CommitteeMember of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association and Chair of the Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia.
“It never ceases to amaze me how one food – cheese – can be so many things to so many people,” commented Kris.

As Woodside Cheese Wrights’ Head cheesemaker, Kris has pioneered a range of cheeses to take advantage of seasonal variations in milk supply.  This award-winning specialist goat, cow and buffalo cheese producer travels the world to help benchmark her products and learn new techniques.

As part of Friday’s “Slow Cheese” Session, chaired by Rosie Cupitt, Leader Slow Food Shoalhaven, Kris will share her expertise on ‘Discovering, Experiencing and Growing the pleasures of raw milk cheeses for Australia’.

“It is an honour to have been given the opportunity to discuss cheese, and in particular raw milk cheese making, at the Slow Food Conference in Ulladulla,” said Kris.

Kris will be joined by Alison Lansley, a non-executive director of various not-for-profit and government companies who now devotes much of her time working to support and promote Australia’s artisan cheesemakers.   Alison brings to her work a broad range of business, governance and legal skills. Her many diverse roles currently include Secretary of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association and a director of the National Broadband Network Corporation.  Passionate about the quality end of the food industry, in particular cheese, and the agriculture and business activities that support it, Alison believes that far greater educational, financial, expertise and promotional support is needed for Australia’s artisan cheese industry to thrive.  Her discussion will also cover developments in the raw milk cheese debate in Australia, with which she has been closely involved for the last few years.

The already sold-out Conference commences on Thursday 20th August with Food Tours of Northern and Southern Shoalhaven producers, including a Bush Tucker Forage and dairy, smoked fish, winery, piggery, cheeses and boutique beer tours.  The Conference will then continue over Friday 21st August to Sunday 23rd August.

Activities also include a Welcome function at St Isidore’s, a Slow Fish Dinner at Bannisters Mollymook on Friday 21st and a Nose to Tail – Slow Meat – Long Table Dinner at Cupitts Winery on Saturday 22nd August.

For further information:  www.slowfoodshoalhaven.com.au