Snail of Approval
Snail of Approval is a recognition given to any food business/organization — restaurants, farms, cafes, bars, wineries, farmers markets, social enterprises — that are pursuing and practicing Slow Food values of good, clean, fair food for all.
The Slow Food Snail of Approval awardee directory is a new map of local food businesses that center community and culture in business practices, make choices that support environmental wellness and promote a more diverse food system.
Apply for a Snail of Approval
Slow Food recognizes the impact of vital food organizations and aims to create nation-wide awareness of these producers and purveyors. The Snail of Approval is a locally adjudicated but internationally recognized program.
The goal is to stimulate greater support for these important businesses- by eating, participating, volunteering, patronizing, donating, and spreading the word.
The Slow Food Snail of Approval is grassroots initative and national award that is judged and administered on a local level. Members of Slow Food organize in their local communities to nominate and give awards to local businesses. [Slow Food USA will not be an awarding body.]
Mirroring both Europe and South America’s concept of ‘Slow Food restaurants,’ which gives patrons a sense of the landscape and labor that makes up their meal. We envision an ever growing network of consumer, business and environment-friendly food operations.
What is the Snail of Approval?
Snail of Approval is a recognition given to any food business/organization — restaurants, farms, cafes, bars, wineries, farmers markets, social enterprises — that are pursuing and practicing Slow Food values of good, clean, fair food for all. The Slow Food community aims to create nation wide awareness that recognizes the impact of vital food organizations. As a locally adjudicated but internationally recognized program, Snail of Approval is a powerful recognition.
Unlike other food awards, Snail of Approval always awards locally and through the lens of a sustainable food system. Applicants are evaluated on Sourcing, Environmental Impact , Cultural Connection, Community Impact, Labor Practice, and Workplace Culture. We hope to celebrate the great achievements of local establishments as well as provide resources for them to continue their sustainability journey. The goal is to stimulate greater support for these important businesses—by eating, participating, volunteering, patronizing, donating, and spreading the word.
How is Snail of Approval awarded?
This award is always be judged locally by a Slow Food Chapter or community. In order to create a national standard, we have created a standardized national evaluation. The minimum requirement to win the Snail of Approval award is to pass this national evaluation. From this point, each local chapter/group can add their own requirements– such as an interview, site visit, a vote by a panel, or additional questions. Or the local chapter/group can decide that passing the initial evaluation is enough! Once the local Slow Food chapter or community decides to give the award, they will submit the awardee information to Slow Food USA to be included in the national directory of award winners.
How is the national evaluation scored?
We have borrowed the evaluating principles from B-Corp. The evaluation calls for a minimum score of — out of —. While the minimum is a high standard for any food establishment, we realize that the road to sustainability is a journey and we want to partner with our awardees on increasing their scores every evaluation period. That means, some of the questions are brownie points – scoring the applicants extra but not punishing those who aren’t quite there… yet!
How is Snail of Approval different from other awards?
Unlike other famous awards, Snail of Approval does not have a group of people huddled away in an office adjudicating far away chefs and restaurants. Snail of Approval is a grassroots award, administered by local Slow Food chapter leaders. That means awardees can build long lasting relationships with other like minded slow foodies around good, clean, fair food for all. We also don’t just award for excellent food (although we love delicious food). We care about sustainable practices inside the kitchen, the establishment’s relationship with the community, and the cultural connections in sourcing.
What is the Snail of Approval National Committee?
The Snail of Approval committee is composed of nine leaders who serve a two year tenure. They convene twice a year to address issues and proposed amendments to Snail of Approval processes. If you would like to suggest a change in the evaluation process, you can submit your suggestion to ——-. The committee has the power to call a general vote for all chapters involved in the Snail of Approval program for significant amendments to the program.