The Presidia sustain quality production at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods, safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties.
The Slow Food Presidia project began in 1999.
After cataloguing the first hundred products at risk of extinction (with the Ark of Taste Project), Slow Food took a step further, entering the world of the production process, to learn about the areas of origin, meet producers, promote their products, skills and knowledge. Over the years the Slow Food Presidia project has become one of the most effective instruments to put Slow Food’s politics on agriculture and biodiversity into practice. In 2008, nine years after the creation of the project, Slow Food Italy took on board the producer’s request and established the Slow Food Presidia label to accompany, identify, protect and promote Italian Slow Food Presidia products.
The “Slow Food Presidium” is now a registered brand, including a graphic logo and guidelines which producers must subscribe to.
The Slow Food Presidia brand has since also come to include two products from the Global South which are regularly processed in Italy: coffee and cacao. In this instance, production protocols and regulations were discussed not only with the producers (from the areas of origin) but also with Italian artisans (coffee roasters and chocolate producers).
In 2012, Switzerland decided to follow on the same path: once again, in order to obtain the authorisation to use the Slow Food Presidia label, Slow Food Presidia producers subscribed to a set of guidelines, committing themselves to respecting the production protocols and to work in line with the Slow Food philosophy.
A Slow Food Presidium protect:
A traditional product at risk of extinction (an Ark of Taste Product);
A traditional processing method at risk of extinction (in fishing, animal husbandry, food processing and farming);
A rural landscape or ecosystem at risk of extinction.