Slow Food Heroes: Choose Locally

On March 15, 2020, all cafes and restaurants in the Netherlands were ordered to close except for take-out orders. Needless to say, this has caused great uncertainty among farmers, food producers, restaurant owners and anyone who makes a living in the food industry.

“We have been seeing a domino effect in the restaurant industry ecosystem, affecting not only restaurants but also many of their suppliers. No less pronounced with slow-thinking companies, expresses Guus Thijssen, coordinator of Slow Food Chefs Alliance in the Netherlands. Chef’s Alliance restaurants are often closely associated with specific small producers with rare heritage products.With demand from restaurants abruptly halted, it immediately created surpluses for these producers that could not easily be sold elsewhere.

Silver Lining: Choose Local

This amount of dark clouds made people look for a lighter side, and fortunately there were plenty. The positive side of this crisis is that it has brought to light the resilience, solidarity and creativity of many individuals in the network in the Netherlands and around the world.Wide. And this is the way #SupportYourLocalsNL The campaign was born.

A group of Amsterdam food producers has started a campaign calling on consumers to continue supporting local farmers and their favorite restaurants, and encouraging food entrepreneurs to work together to create a home delivery service. local food boxes To be ordered online, and delivered from various points across the country.

From the activity noon select local (select local) Website, a page with addresses in all twelve provinces of the Netherlands, allowing people to nominate their (favorite) work to be added.

“Being on this list helped us,” says Evrim Kurç, a restaurateur and restaurant owner. From Bio Basis in Zest. After we had to close our restaurant, cancel all of our premium catering jobs, we immediately switched to meal delivery, and had several customers each week finding us through Slow Food. This helps us, and the farmers we work with. We’re doing a little more than we’ve already done. I don’t think that’s something we can maintain for the long term. But for now, I’m very grateful that I’m still able to provide people with good, healthy meals and continue to work together with the network in which we’ve invested so much energy in the years now. This is the time when I really feel the power of local communities.

Do you want to help local producers in your country survive this crisis?

Tips from Saskia Littooij – Communications Officer at Slow Food Netherlands

  • Create an online form where people can share their advice. This way you will receive all the tips clearly and in the same format, and you can process them directly on your page.
  • Actively ask your network via newsletters and social media to local producers, chefs and catering establishments and let them fill out using the form.
  • Explain the urgency of why small local entrepreneurs are having a hard time right now.
  • When your page is online, send a newsletter with clickable links to your supporters and refer them to your page.
  • Promote local producers on your page through your social media channels.

If you have questions about starting a similar page in your country, or if you have interesting examples of how to support local businesses in your area, let us know by sending an email to [email protected]

Slow Food Heroes is a funded project by the European Cultural Foundation, with CRC Foundation Contribution.
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