Slow Food has always supported the Marketplace exhibitors – even in the current situation where physical stands are replaced by virtual showcases and e-commerce – making them ambassadors of good, clean and fair food and Slow Food international campaigns.
This commitment is expressed through our selection criteria, a tool in continuous evolution which has the dual objective of being useful for producers and being in fully in line with Slow Food principles.
These guidelines, as well as being a useful tool for the organization to select which businesses would be suitable exhibitors, are a also point of reference for the producers themselves, who can use them to orient their work in the search for greater overall quality.
GENERAL RULES AND SPECIFIC CASES
The document starts with some general rules before going into detail on some specific products. For example, no product may contain GMOs or palm oil (with the exception of the Slow Food Presidium for the Wild Palm Oil of Guinea Bissau) and packaging must be kept a minimum, be easily biodegradable and recyclable.
Some specific cases pertaining to different ecosystems:
- In the Highlands one of the protagonists are mountain pasture cheeses, made with raw milk from animals raised predominantly on pasture or at the very least with a high proportion of grass/hay in their diet. Beyond this, there are other fundamental elements to consider when describing the well-being of the animals. This is the result of work undertaken in the last two editions of Cheese, where we have given precedence to natural cheeses made without selected ferments.
- In the Lowlands the elements of naturalness and animal welfare are again at the center of attention if we consider charcuterie and meat products. In the selection process we give precedence to producers who make charcuterie with meat from farms where the animals are raised in a semi-wild state, with local breeds, and without the use of nitrites and nitrates: producers which have a lower environmental impact, and which are also better for our health.
- In the Water Lands, the marine species allowed are chosen according to our desire to safeguard the sea and its resources. Those who’ve been to Slow Fish before will now that we don’t allow the sale of bluefin tuna, swordfish or farmed salmon. We’re keenly aware of the health of fish stocks, in particular regarding cod and wild salmon, and we ask that all products contain a clear indication of which FAO zone they come from, and that the type of fishing methods use are highly selective to reduce by-catch.
- In the Urban Lands we can the example of bread, where we give precedence to products made with local cereals or ancient grains, and we only allow bread made with sourdough, without the use of improvers and aids, artificial additives, stabilizers, preservatives, flavor enhancers, malt extract, enzymatic aids, lecithin and emulsifiers, coloring, polishers, waxes, artificial flavors and nature-identical flavors. In other words, our watchword is natural products.