Slow Food Principles
Our everyday lives can be enriched by taking time to slow down and enjoy life with family and friends. Living the slow life with food as the focus is as rewarding as it is easy, and it can be done daily by each one of us. Here are just a few pleasures you can enjoy:
- Visit a local farmers market
- Start a kitchen garden
- Make pasta from scratch one night
- Invite a friend over to share a meal
- Squeeze your own lemonade from the fresh fruit
- Prepare food with your children or teach them to garden
- Trace your food sources
- Linger over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in your area
- Decide to eat lunch at the table instead of on-the-go
- Visit a farm in your area
- Learn your local food history! Prepare an authentic regional dish or discover a food that is celebrated by your culture.
Slow Food is an international, member-supported nonprofit organization. Its aim is to spread food culture; to develop sensory and taste education; to protect biodiversity; and to promote quality in food, the environment, and society. Slow Food wants good, clean and fair food to be accessible to, and appreciated by, all. Slow Food USA is part of a global network of Slow Food organizations.
By joining Slow Food USA, you:
- support a new form of agriculture, respectful of the environment, of humanity, of taste, and of the Terra Madre food communities;
- support our agricultural development projects all around the world;
- join an international community of producers and consumers, cooks and chefs, gardeners, environmentalists, scholars, and gourmets;
- join a local community that organizes meetings, conferences, dinners, events, and volunteer activities.
Slow Food Orange County is a local chapter of Slow Food USA that works to carry out the Slow Food mission on a local level. The Orange County convivium is a member-supported organization made up of a diverse group of food enthusiasts.
Slow Food OC Constitution and By-Laws
Slow Food USA seeks to create lasting change in the food system. We reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We seek to inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
We strive to counter the frenetic pace of fast life, the homogenized food supply and the loss of important culinary culture and tradition.
We work for a food system which imparts health to the entire ecosystem and the humans who inhabit it, and that works with nature and society instead of against them. By doing so, we enjoy the benefits of responsible pleasure at the dinner table, in the city or countryside, with friends and family.
Slow Food Orange County seeks to create a lasting change in our local food system to ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
Slow Food is an educational, non-profit organization with the goal of creating a world in which everyone can enjoy food that is good, clean and fair. Slow Food represents a growing movement of 18,000 members nationally. We seek fulfillment of our mission by:
1) Connecting eaters to the Orange County region’s biodiverse and sustainable producers through organizational partnerships, publications, and social events.
2) Increasing public awareness around the economic, environmental, political, and cultural impact of our eating through education, garden projects, and social events.
Principles of Organization
We set forth the following principles to guide Slow Food Orange County’s leadership team as it works to fulfill the mission of the organization:
We are committed to building a sense of community among our members and constituency groups by organizing events, activities, and programming that foster friendship, common purpose, and appreciation for a slower, more harmonious way of life.
While differences always arise among management teams, we believe our goals are best met through open discussion of the issues, honest expression of diverse opinion, mutual respect for each other’s ideas and abilities, and civility in all our dealings.
We recognize that success in our endeavors requires clear objectives, hard work, personal commitment and sacrifice, and accountability to each other and to our membership.
We strive to avoid personal and professional conflicts of interest in the execution of our duties.
Principles of Practice
We work in concert with Slow Food USA and accept and abide by the Slow Food USA National Statute and Financial Protocols.
We are mindful of the organizational and historical debts we owe to our national and international offices, as well as to the international programs that are cornerstones of our mission.
We, as a Board, look to the SFUSA Leader’s Guide and Manual of Best Practices as our management handbook, because we understand that these documents have come to be drafted through the hard work, trials, and experience of leaders who have come before us. We should always seek to amend and improve our leadership techniques and practices.
Because we honor and value those who conscientiously tend the land and steward the animals that provide us quality food, we commit to pay fairly for the products of these producers.
We believe that our members and the public should be able to participate in the fruits of our work regardless of income level, and we strive to make Slow Food Orange County events as open and accessible as possible. We will offer events at a wide range of scales and cost, and commit to organizing a number of events at no-cost or at nominal cost to participants.
Article 1: Official Name & Logo Usage
1a. The organization is called Slow Food Orange County.
1b. Slow Food Orange County will use the name and logo of Slow Food in accordance with the Slow Food name and logo agreement annually signed by the Board Chair in the Chapter’s Annual Report.
Article 2: Purpose
2a. Slow Food Orange County is a local Chapter of Slow Food USA. A chapter is a tool for implementing the Slow Food mission on a local level and therefore the grassroots expression of the movement.
2b. Slow Food Orange County engages the local community in supporting and celebrating the food traditions of the region.
Article 3: Membership
3a. Membership in Slow Food Orange County is open to all.
3b. Membership is official once an individual has paid their annual membership fee to Slow Food USA.
3c. Membership is terminated once the individual does not renew his/her membership or has requested to be removed from the membership roles.
3d. Among other benefits, all members are eligible to participate in the Steering Committee and to run for titled positions.
3e. Slow Food USA provides the Chapter with an updated membership list, monthly.
Article 4: Meetings
4a. There shall be no fewer than four Slow Food Orange County Steering Committee meetings per year.
4b.Steering Committee meeting are open to all members of the Orange County Chapter, but only Steering Committee members with titled positions and past Chairs of the Steering Committee, who can serve in an ex officio capacity, have the right to participate in votes.
4c. Written email notice of all Steering Committee meetings must be sent to each Board member at least seven days prior to such meetings.
4d. A quorum must be present in order for the meeting to be considered official, a quorum consisting of 50% of the Steering Committee membership (i.e., those with titled positions) plus one.
4e. Slow Food Orange County will hold at least one general membership meeting each year, the date of which is set by the Steering Committee.
Article 5: Governance Structure
5a. The Steering Committee of Slow Food Orange County will guide the general direction of the Chapter, ensuring its projects and activities are consistent with the ideas and values of the Slow Food movement.
5b. The Steering Committee shall consist of no fewer than five members and no more than fifteen. They must be current members of Slow Food Orange County. Any member may join the Steering Committee by verbal agreement upon attending any Steering Committee meeting.
5c. The Chapter Chairperson, Co-Chairperson (Co-Chairperson is optional, existing at the discretion of the Chair or the Steering Committee), Secretary, Treasurer and Committee Chairs shall be elected in March of each year by majority vote of the Steering Committee unless there is a unanimous vote to proceed without elections.
5d. A Board member may be removed from his/her governing position for cause, by affirmation of a two-thirds vote of the existing Board.
5e. A Steering Committee vacancy (including, but not limited to, Chairperson and Co-Chairperson) occurring prior to the annual election of titled positions, may (but is not required to) be filled with a qualified candidate by majority vote of the Steering Committee.
5f. Steering Committee meeting agendas shall be sent to Steering Committee members via email at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. If a Steering Committee member is unable to attend a meeting, he/she may submit his/her vote on known issues to the Chairperson, in writing. A Steering Committee member’s general voting proxy may also be submitted to another Steering Committee member of his/her choosing.
5g. A majority vote is defined as 50% of the Steering Committee membership plus one.
Article 6: Board Organization and Responsibilities
6a. It is recognized that running a Slow Food chapter is much work, and that in order to maintain energy, keep spirits up, stay fresh and on task, honor commitments, prevent burn-out, and sustain the pleasure we seek from our work with Slow Food, we must share the workload.
6b. The Steering Committee of Slow Food Orange County is an all-volunteer working committee and serves without pay or expectation of benefit or recompense.
6c. To ensure the continuity and the effective functioning of the committee, Steering Committee are expected to attend at least two-thirds of the meetings during a year.
6d. The Steering Committee is composed of several positions, described in the 6c subsections below. Because the Steering Committee must ensure that its goals and responsibilities are met, including those unforeseen, it is understood that the Steering Committee member duties listed below are not all-inclusive.
6d(1). The Chairperson of the Slow Food chapter should ideally be a member who has served on the Steering Committee for at least one year, and serves for a one year renewable term. The Chairperson is the liaison with the Slow Food national office, the local regional governor and other leaders in the region. The leader runs general meetings, acts as one of two signing authorities for the chapter bank account, acts as primary contact for the Chapter and the Steering Committee, oversees the activities of the Chapter, and ensures that the Chapter is meeting all its responsibilities.
6d (2). Additional titled positions of the Steering Committee include, but are not limited to, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Chair, Outreach Chair, Events Chair, and Barbeque Chair.
6d(2a) Secretary – Keeps minutes of Steering Committee meetings, updates bylaws when necessary and maintains the board roster. 6c(2b) Treasurer – Monitors and reports on Slow Food Orange County finances, manages and suggests revisions to the budget, and acts as one of two signing authorities for the chapter bank account.
6d(2c) Communications Chair – Organizes all contact with members and the community at large, including overseeing website maintenance, newsletter editing, social media sites, mailing lists, welcoming new members, writing press releases and pursuing other marketing outlets.
6d(2d) Outreach Chair – Responsible for implementing social action programs and developing relationships with organizations, chefs and other individuals who can help us further our mission.
6d(2e) Events Chair – Collects pertinent information for all events scheduled by the board and ensures all components of each event are confirmed and in accordance with the mission of the chapter. Oversees the archivist position.
6d(2f) Special Event/Fundraiser Chair – Forms a committee and oversees all aspects of large annual fundraising events. Note: Steering Committee roles are reflective of organizational needs and subject to change as decided by unanimous decision of the board. Ad hoc committee chairs may be elected as needed.
6d(2g) Membership Chair The person in this position will contact new national members and work to increase their participation in chapter activities.
6d(3). It is the responsibility of the Steering Committee as a whole to decide how funds are spent, with special attention to how such expenditures further the local mission of Slow Food Orange County. The Steering Committee shall attempt to honor any reasonable donor restrictions on the use of donated funds.
Article 7: Amendments & Ratification
7a. Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed in writing for vote by the Steering Committee; a unanimous vote is required.
7b. In their entirety the bylaws must be posted on the chapter website or otherwise be available to Chapter members upon request.
Article 8: Conflict of Interest Policy
8a. Because public confidence is important to Slow Food USA and its chapters, the Steering Committee establishes the following steps to avoid even the appearance of impropriety:
• Each Steering Committee member shall disclose to the Steering Committee any personal interest which he or she may have in any matter pending before the chapter.
• Although it is not a conflict of interest to reimburse Steering Committee members for expenses incurred, the law prohibits them from being paid for serving on the Steering Committee, nor may Steering Committee members receive pass-through dollars for individual projects. The chapter may decide to hire or contract with a Steering Committee member only if he or she is the most qualified individual available, and is willing to provide the goods or services needed at the best price.