Slow Food Shoalhaven is advocating for a thriving food community that is “good, clean and fair for all”.
There are 18 registered Slow Food communities in Australia, where the movement has been active since 1995, that are promoting good, clean and fair food.
The Shoalhaven group has a busy year planned, with a producers’ directory and the Snail of Approval Awards set to be launched in the region.
Committee member Marianne Cool said shaking the hand that feeds you and getting to know your local producer was important.
The directory will help with this, and inform people on where to source locally grown food, she said.
”Knowing how your food is grown, getting to know your producers, and buying their food is so important,” Mrs Cool said.
The directory will include Shoalhaven growers, as well as producers from Batemans Bay, Moruya, Braidwood and Kiama/Gerringong.
“At the moment, we have about 75 for the directory, but we are still collecting data,” she said.
“We want residents and visitors to know where they can buy fresh, locally grown produce.
“But, we also have a lot of visitors who come here specifically for the food, so for them to be able to go to a farm gate or know where to find a little gem is what we are trying to do.”
Shoalhaven Slow Food will also launch the internationally recognised Snail of Approval Awards.
The award will identify cafes, restaurants and producers who use local produce where possible and practice sustainability.
It is canvasing eateries in the district now and plans to award the first Snail sticker soon.
Mrs Cool said the awards would be given to businesses who are doing a “fantastic job with local produce, waste management and sustainability”.
“We are in the process of shortlisting the establishments in our area that we think follow Slow Food principles,” she said.
“Once we have done our interviews and checks, and they qualify, we can award them with a Snail of Approval, which is a bit like a TripAdvisor sticker.”
Mrs Cool said people would see the snail and know the business was “doing a great job”.
“People can see the sticker and know they are using local produce and may think, ‘I am going to go there instead of next door’,” she said.
To get involved, visit http://slowfoodshoalhaven.com.au/, email email@example.com, or by searching ‘Slow Food Shoalhaven’ on Facebook.