The Slow Food Youth Network meeting also included a seminar from Joris Lohman, the chair of the network and its representative at the Slow Food Executive table, about fundraising. Joris opened with a brief introduction outlining that the Youth Food Movement (YFM) and SFYN in all of their iterations have always been inextricably linked to Slow Food: a good example is the Food Film Festival in Amsterdam, organized by YFM Netherlands, that has 25 paid employees and 300 volunteers providing food and entertainment to over 8000 visitors annually. Michelin star chef Joris Bijdendijk runs a very successful restaurant within the festival, and the event also features a street market, keynote speakers (last year Mark Bittman gave a talk) and nightly musical entertainment. YFM also operates the YFM Academy, an institution with 25 students annually, which brings together gastronomes from many walks of life with the shared view that making food that is good, clean and fair is accessible.
Joris went on to outline the methods for asking donors for contribution and partnership, from brokering a huge partnership such as that with the Young Farmers’ Association, to applying for funding from non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam. He gave types of budgeting with specific examples for SFYN and YFM, ideas for fundraising, such as benefit dinners, input on membership fees, and criteria for corporate sponsorship. He was very clear that Slow Food is an established and recognized name. Having the Slow Food name attached to an event is a sociopolitical statement, not charity!
Joris moved on to take us through the future events that SFYN is building. From humble beginnings, with the earliest representation of YFM at Terra Madre 2008, to having 500 delegates at Terra Madre 2012, he is looking to expand that number twofold for Terra Madre 2014. He went on to tell us about a new project, Foodstock 2015, an original festival of food, art, music and learning actually seeking 1000 youth delegates. SFYN is seeking professional musicians and big-name chefs to represent and share the knowledge of Slow Food internationally in a new venue with a different feel, while still being a forum for education.
Read more about Darl’s experience at the international Slow Food Youth Network meeting in our next newsletter – stay tuned!
Photos by Anika Mester