SNAIL OF APPROVAL FAQ
What is the Snail of Approval
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 Involvement, Staff Support, and Business Values. The Snail of Approval program celebrates the great achievements of establishments locally and nationally, with the goal of generating greater support for them as they incorporate Slow Food values in their businesses.
HOW IS SNAIL OF APPROVAL AWARDED?
The Snail of Approval is always awarded locally by a Slow Food chapter or Community. In order to create a national standard, we have created a national eligibility application. The minimum requirement to obtain the Snail of Approval award is to pass this eligibility application. From this point, each local chapter or Community can add their own requirements — such as an interview, site visit, a vote by a panel, or additional questions. 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 STANDARD EVALUATION APPLICATION SCORED?
There is an internal scoring process that evaluates an applicant’s answers and it has been determined that a passing score is 30% of the total value. 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 deepening their commitment to Slow Food values every evaluation period.
HOW CAN I APPLY?
We are excited that you are interested in joining a network of like-minded food entities leading the fight for a sustainable food system. To apply, please refer to the list of participating chapters, and go to the website of the chapter located closest to your business/organization, geographically. On their website, you will learn about their awarding process and find a link to complete the Slow Food Snail of Approval Standard Eligibility Application.
WHAT IF THERE ISN’T A LOCAL SLOW FOOD CHAPTER WITH A PROGRAM?
Since Snail of Approval is a locally administered program, there must be a local chapter or Community to give the award.
If a local chapter exists but they do not have a Slow Food Snail of Approval award program, then the local chapter can begin a program! Check out this onboarding guide on how to establish a program in an existing chapter.
If there is no chapter or Community in your area, then we will help you find the nearest one that can fulfill the requirements of vetting an applicant. If you have a group that is interested in participating and hosting more than one Slow Food initiative, then a chapter is the best organization to form. If you have a group that is singularly interested in hosting a Snail of Approval program, then a Slow Food Community is the best organization. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
HOW IS SNAIL OF APPROVAL DIFFERENT FROM OTHER AWARDS?
Unlike other food awards, Snail of Approval does not have a group of people huddled away in an office adjudicating faraway chefs and restaurants. Snail of Approval is a grassroots award, administered by local Slow Food chapter and Community leaders. That means awardees can build long-lasting relationships with other like-minded Slow Food activists around good, clean and fair food for all. We also don’t just focus our program on presenting awards for excellent food (although we love delicious food). We care about sustainable practices inside the kitchen, the establishment’s relationship with the community, their worker’s welfare and the cultural and local connections in its sourcing.
WHAT BENEFITS DO I RECEIVE BY BEING AWARDED?
By being awarded with the Snail of Approval, you join a national network of like-minded food entities fighting for a sustainable food system. We are excited to welcome awardees who each bring their own story, experience and expertise. Snail of Approval is all about supporting vital businesses and organizations in a local food system. It is how we will continue to be resilient, diverse and strong. Practically speaking, as an awardee you will:
- Receive permission to use the official Slow Food Snail of Approval graphic
- Be listed on the national awardee map and directory
- Be included in national Slow Food marketing campaigns and events
- Be spotlighted on local chapter email blasts, website, social media, and networking events
HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY AWARD STATUS?
All Snail of Approval awardees are re-assessed at regular intervals determined by the individual chapters after the initial award is given. The review process is at minimum filling out a form to reflect current business practices and based on the answers, it is determined whether or not more follow-up or a site visit is required. The hope is that all awardees continue to improve their practices upon each review; we believe that the journey toward better food and better food systems is a lifelong endeavor.