Slow Food Oxon update - June 2008


Dear Slow Food Oxon members

In these times of extreme concern regarding our ability to feed the planet, it is crucial that we defend and promote the "Good, Clean and Fair "Slow Food motto We are all doing our piece at an individual level but remember that as a group we can be stronger!

What's below touches on pleasure of food, as well as supporting our local agricultural community. More than ever we need your support, your involvement and your input in enabling significant changes in our food systems.

This is a rather long update to compensate for my silence in May!!!

More info will come around this month re the fish market event to be organised by Peter T and our website access from our webmaster Jeremy

1/ Slow Food Oxon update

  • Committee meeting - very brief summary!

The committee met on the 27/05 and we decided on the following - which is in essence: do less but do it better!

We would like to organise a major event for next year, with fewer remaining events along the year to allow us to concentrate our effort on doing it right.

Our market project has been reviewed and put on hold for now as we don't feel we have a strong enough proposal to justify our presence amongst a converted audience - it does not mean that if you have the opportunity and/ or the willingness to take part to any farmers market as a Slow Food Oxon rep, you should decline, far from it! on the contrary, let us know about this and we will support you the best we can - Q&A sheet posted within the market forum on the website.

We have decided to let you know more about us - as in committee members and what food credentials we have so that if you wish to organise a foodie event, you would know what skills and experience you could tap into (this statement is about sharing info and willingness to help promoting the Slow Food message - we will do our best to support any initiatives coming our way) - implementation and publication to follow within the summer!

We are toying with the idea of a slow food movie club in partnership with people like the Phoenix cinema in Oxford.

We would also like to boost our book club which are great literary moments for exhange on a given book or life in general! we are looking at engaging with local bookstores... investigating with Blackwells in Oxford for the moment.

Finally, once more, we are working on our website ( content which we would like to become your main source of info re Slow Food Oxon activities. It is up to us all to keep it alive and interested - the idea being to share a thought, a tip, an idea and exchange with fellow SFO members on your lastest findings!

  • Pending events for the second half of the year:

July: We are still finalising details regarding a visit the London fish market, aiming at an overnight stay in London, very early start for a guided visit of the market and a "fishmonger" breakfast afterwards - keep an eye on the website for this one. It is likely to take place at the end of July.

August: We are also working on a farm tour - on August, 3rd (date tbc) - at the Wykham farm, orientated mainly around animal breeding and butchery, for a full Sunday morning - the details remain to be finalised but again - keep an eye on this one.

September: ...when september comes, we will taste Olive oil with a producer and expert - venue tbc

October / November...and with the autumn: mushroom foray at Derek's farm - thanks a lot Derek for offering to host this event - and sloe harvest and sloe gin making to keep us warm over the winter month when the cold sets in, we will be looking at orchard fruits - details to be communicated closer to the time

December: and finishing the year, with a rare beef breed farm for our Xmas do.

  • external events we will take part in:

BBC Good Food Summer Show: I will be manning the stand in Friday 13/06 a:m with other Slow Food UK members - well actually, I went - report to follow! Fiona Richmond's words on the event:

BBC Good Food Summer Show: 11 - 15 June 2008

We're all just back from a hectic week at the BBC Good Food Summer Show in Birmingham where, as you know, the Slow Food Pavilion featured our Bursary Winner producers, and Slow Food UK also ran a promotional stand. In addition, there was a series of Taste Workshops featuring produce from the award winners.

This was the first time that Slow Food UK and the BBC Good Food Show had collaborated in this way, and we were excited about the opportunity, at the same time as wondering how it would all work out! We are gathering feedback at the moment and de-briefing, but I am happy to say that there were lots of positive outcomes, and the Show proved to be an excellent vehicle for spreading the Slow Food message to a very diverse audience. It was satisfying to be able to reach out to new people, and awaken their tastebuds and minds to good, clean and fair food. The producers were very grateful to have had the opportunity to exhibit in this way, and were proud to be associated with Slow Food UK.

Our thanks to Oliver Carpenter & Sue Braithwaite from Slow Food Worcestershire who ran the Slow Food UK stand and Taste Workshops respectively, as well as all the enthusiastic members who helped throughout the Show.

Chorley Big Food event: I will be representing Slow Food Oxon this school event and will let you know all about it (28/06) - any volunteers to come along with me to talk about Slow Food, Good Food, Taste of Food...etc...?

Do let us know if others are interested in us talking about Slow Food at other food related events.

  • Terra madre - Slow Food Oxon nomination

So far we have received confirmation that our special Slow Food chef, Will from the Vaults has been nominated to attend this autumn show! which is a fantastic news

2/ Slow Food UK update

  • Slow Food UK AGM (26/04/08)

You can find my notes and the official minutes on our website:

  • BBC Good Food Summer show - SF UK bursary award winners:

Emergency: Call for action

UK Food Group: **Global launch of an international call by social movements and civil society on the World Food Emergency: Call to Action **

In brief, International Biodiversity Day: Celebrating agricultural biodiversity - the basis of life and livelihoods on Earth was marked on 22nd May. A number of organizations, including UK Food Group (, of which Slow Food UK is a member, launched a call to action, challenging governments that will meet in June at the FAO Food Summit in Rome.

3/ Slow Food International

You should all be receiving the Terra madre Newsletter by now - please do let me know if you don't.

Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre 2008 - Torino - 23-27 October 2008:

After a long wait, we are very happy to announce that the English version of the on-line Salone del Gusto programme is now live. Here is the link:

That's all folks

do let us have your views on what you have read - what you like, what you didn't, what you would want us to do differently!

Kind regards