What is the Slow Food Movement? Well, ask the many different people involved and you might get just as many different answers. But Woody Tasch and The Slow Food Alliance have boiled the movement down to two goals: thinking about money at a macro level and getting money into local food systems. Chairing a network of venture capitalists and investors, Tasch has guided millions of dollars into local sustainable enterprises. His hope is to effect a broader long term change; both economically as well as environmentally, rather than simply investing towards an immediate financial return. The idea is to have the Slow Food Alliance serve as a catalyst; to get the ball rolling and encourage the investment in sustainable enterprises all over the world. And, while it’s too early to see the long-term effects of this revolutionary approach to investment, their are already number of success stories.
The slow food movement that started in Italy two decades ago has gained much attention and popularity, with a blossoming of community supported agriculture (CSA), local organic farms and general awareness of where our food comes from. But money doesn’t grow on trees, and in an economy structured around industrial-scale global agriculture, starting and sustaining small farms and local, sustainable food processing and delivery systems can be a challenge.
About five years ago, veteran financial manager Woody Tasch and his colleagues at the Investors’ Circle began discussing how an intentional and organized influx of investment into localized sustainable food systems could be paired with a general increasing philosophical commitment to slow food principles.
The result is the Slow Money movement, shepherded by the Slow Money Alliance, of which Tasch is executive director. Now 750 members, including individual investors and sustainable farms and food-related businesses, are members of the alliance, and 450 people attended a Slow Money conference in Santa Fe in September.