Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA’s mission is to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system by reconnecting Americans with people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. The organization inspires a transformation in food policy, production practices and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
It is the vision of Slow Food USA that food is a common language and a universal right. It envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet.
Organized by volunteer leaders, local chapters (such as Slow Food Seattle) carry out the Slow Food mission in their communities. Chapters offer educational events and activities to promote sustainability and biodiversity and connect farmers, cooks, educators, students and everyone else who cares about their food and the environment.
In 2010 Slow Food Seattle is using the following criteria to recognize area restaurants according to Slow Food mission standards:
- Taste: creates exemplary experiences at the table
- Seasonal: uses fresh products of the season
- Communal: shares time, talent and resources in the community
- Humane: uses product that has been raised and/or harvested responsibly
- Artisan: presents fine food created by their own or the hands of others
- Sustainable: uses products & processes with minimal long-term effect on the environment
- Local: pursues food sources of the Northwest
- Awareness: recognizes and educates their guests on the source of the products used
Cascade Harvest Coalition
Cascade Harvest Coalition is dedicated to re-localizing the food system in Washington State by connecting consumers more directly with producers. It helps farmers by connecting them with tools and resources they need to be more sustainable and provide timely information to consumers so they can make informed food buying decisions.
Cascade Harvest Coalition has a variety of programs to accomplish this goal. Each program focuses on an important step in the process of getting local farm products from seed to market:
Puget Sound Fresh is the region’s premier “eat local” farm product branding and consumer education program.
Washington FarmLink is the state’s only program that links aspiring farmers with landowners and helps grow new sustainable farming operations.
Farm-to-Table: Connecting Local Farmers with Local Food Buyers is an annual series of workshops that connects local farmers with local buyers in an effort to create access to new markets and expand sales for locally grown farm products. By bringing together farmers, food artisans, food processors, vintners, chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, grocers, and school, hospital, and nursing home food service representatives interested in direct marketing opportunities, it collaboratively tackles problems facing the regional food system and creates innovative and inclusive solutions. Issues discussed at these workshops include distribution, marketing, farm-to-institution sales and product processing and development.
Harvest Celebrations are annual on-farm festivals to honor, celebrate and share in the bounty of local agriculture and an opportunity to connect urban residents with rural communities.
Farmers Markets Research addresses a critical and timely need for additional consumer research and targeted marketing strategies for Washington’s producers with direct sales at the State’s 125 farmers markets. Primary goals are to increase consumer awareness and support for locally-grown and produced foods in general, and at farmers markets in particular as well as increase marketing opportunities for local producers at farmers markets, resulting in increased sales for producers.
Washington State Farmers Market Association
The mission of the Washington State Farmers Market Association is to support and promote vibrant and sustainable farmers markets in Washington State.
The association’s vision is to have a thriving and sustainable farmers market within reach of every resident in Washington State. Washingtonians understand the importance of farmers markets in developing healthy communities and a sustainable local food system. WSFMA is a national leader in the movement to increase access to local foods through farmers markets.
WSFMA values a healthy local food system, economically and environmentally sustainable farms, and community gathering places where all people have a sense of belonging and connection.
Their goals include providing support and technical assistance to farmers markets in Washington State, educating the public on benefits of buying fresh and local farm products, and increasing knowledge and understanding of the role of farmers markets in community development, sustainable local agriculture, and access to nutritious food.
Chefs Collaborative , the leading non-profit network of chefs, fosters a sustainable food system through advocacy, education and collaboration with the broader food community. The organization advocates sustainability in the greater food community, provides chefs with the tools necessary to make sustainable purchasing decisions and connects chefs with sustainable food producers.