Once every four years, Slow Food International brings together sustainable food systems leaders from around the world. Delegates discuss the organization’s goals and policy strategies, as well as elect management bodies to carry these goals forward. This October, the sixth International Congress will be held in Turin, Italy at the same time as Terra Madre.
This year, CUESA nominated Marin Sun Farms to send a representative, Aaron Lander, to International Congress, and Slow Food San Francisco will sponsor him to go. Marin Sun Farms is based in Point Reyes, and raises 100% grass fed and pasture raised meats for the Bay Area community. For Aaron, who grew up in the “corn capital of the US” (Des Moines, IA), traveling to Turin, Italy to meet with global leaders in the food scene will be a dream come true. Aaron has been fixated on addressing global environmental issues since his freshman year in college when he dropped his pre-med ambitions in favor of focusing on food issues and community development. He was a founding member of the Des Moines UN World Food Program Chapter and worked with many land management groups as he started his MS in Community Development in 2009 through Iowa State University. He ultimately moved to the Bay Area to get involved in the region’s innovative agricultural community and began working with Marin Sun Farms where he partnered with local Slow Food chapters to organize meat panels, Earth Days and other environmental events.
Aaron is thrilled about the possibilities in Turin. “I’m going because I want to be able to bring what the Bay Area is doing to a global scene and bring what everyone else is doing back here,” explained Aaron. “I’ve also been interested in Slow Food International since I was in undergrad, so being able to continue to work even more closely with the organization is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
He hopes to learn more about global food security issues as well as develop his network in order to build global support for sustainable agriculture and local food systems. He’s also looking forward to bringing the farmer’s point of view to the fore, helping shed light on their limitations as well as opportunities for public support. He’s excited to learn from the many food leaders he expects to meet and to bring that information back to the Bay Area to share with the Slow Food community and others in the industry.
“This is an amazing opportunity that I’m honored to be a part of,” said Aaron. “By involving people from a variety of backgrounds in this world’s food issues, we’ll be more likely to make significant progress in building a more sustainable future.”