Australia’s first Slow Meat Symposium was held in Daylesford on the first weekend in September.
Over 130 people participated in the three day event, strategising how to enable people to eat better meat and eat it less often.
Livestock farmers, butchers, chefs and supporters gathered to focus on shifting demand away from industrially and intensively-produced meat, to meat from high welfare pastured production systems.
Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance president Tammi Jonas said the symposium aimed to identify ways to grow the slow meat philosophy, “eat better meat, less”.
“Slow meat is not just better for our environment and the welfare of our animals, it offers a far more delicious future,” she said.
“Health and ethics are increasingly important to people and this is driving a shift away from industrially-produced meat.
“The symposium saw some of our best producers, chefs, butchers and allies gather to identify ways we can keep growing the slow meat movement so that more Australians can enjoy the benefits of eating better meat and eating meat less.”
Participants created an action plan to work across industries to grow the slow meat movement.
It detailed plans for the creation of a platform to enable the diversion of thousands of tonnes of food waste from landfill to farmers seeking alternative feed streams for livestock.
It also included a commitment to collaborate with others in the meat industry and animal welfare organisations to strengthen the movement in hope of placing slow meat ahead of industrial meat in butcher’s shops, menus and households across Australia.
Guest speaker and chef Matt Wilkinson said there was a “crucial need to bridge the divide between chefs and consumers and farmers and chefs”.
The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and Slow Food Central Highlands run event included farm tours, butchery and cooking demonstrations as well as guest speakers and dining.