The term ’slow food’ has a far deeper meaning than its literal reading. Although the eponymous organization’s aim is the preservation of the traditional and regional cuisines, the authentic taste of food and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, people see behind this name an entire philosophy, which spreads far beyond the way we eat. It’s based on the understanding that the hectic lifestyle does more harm than contributes to our daily life and leads to stress, neglect to the pleasures of life and worsen health in general. The followers of this ideology increase their numbers with each passing day as they see in it the way to peace and happiness and a fulfilling life.
The “Slow Food” organisation has existed since 1989 and originates from Italy where Carlo Petrini established the movement three years earlier. In this sense it is a young organization which despite its increased growth over the last few years is still little known in Europe and especially in the USA. Up to this moment more than one hundred thousand people from 150 countries across the world have joined. Slow Food has 7 convivia in Bulgaria, which are regional branches of the organisation, protecting the culinary riches of the area they are founded in, as well as 3 presidia – Karakachan Sheep, Smilyan Beans and Tcherni Vit Green Cheese – which are a mechanism for protecting the traditional products and stimulating their producers.
One of the subsidiary initiatives of “Slow Food” is “Terra Madre” – a network uniting producers, supporting the idea of ecologically clean, high quality and tasty food. Within the last few years from 2004 to now 4 international meetings-exhibitions have been convened where thousands of producers present the traditional culinary specialties of their regions. In the middle of July this year the first regional meeting for the Balkan Peninsula was conducted – Terra Madre Balkans 2010, at which Bulgaria gave the visitors the opportunity to try the “Tcherni Vit” green cheese, “krokmach” – a kind of liquid cheese, as well as raspberry honey, dandelion honey and chestnut honey.
All initiatives of Slow Food are aimed at preserving the traditional culinary products and supporting the producers, who keep the tradition in the preparation and the authentic taste. In this way the manufacturers can receive economical stimulus to produce their goods and receive a fair payment for their work. Recently Bulgaria made an important step towards facilitating the realization of these goals and towards harmonisation with the EU legislation and principles through the promulgation of the Ordinance for Specific Requirements for Direct Supplies of Small Quantities of Primary Products and Foods of Animal Origin (’The Ordinance’) in the 84th issue of the State Gazette dated October 26, 2010.
For a long time direct supplies to the end users were impossible since there was no legislation on the matter, although Regulation (EC) 853/2004 provided that each member country of the European Union shall create one on its own. The adopted Ordinance corrected this flaw in the Bulgarian legislation, making it possible for each end user to buy food products directly from the producer. This gives higher confidence that the purchased product is of high quality, fresh, organically clean and with an authentic taste – food qualities which could be lost partially or completely during the transfer of the product from producer to processor and dealer before arriving to the consumer. Through shortening the path that the food travels before it reaches the buyers its end price is lowered which is an advantage to both them and the producers, whose work can more adequately paid, thus stimulating the development of their business.
The Ordinance regulates the direct supplies of raw milk, bee honey, eggs, fish and meat both from animals slaughtered in farms and shot as game. In order the producer to have the right to sell products directly to the end users, they need to be present on the list of the Regional Veterinary Service (Art. 39 of the Ordinance), and the site where the treatment of the food is performed needs to be registered according to the provisions of Art. 12 of the Foods Act (Art. 40 of the Ordinance.)Disclaimer
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