Slow Food in the UK has at last undergone a large change to its structure in the past six months with the creation of a new Slow Food England, Slow Food Scotland, Slow Food Wales and Slow Food Northern Ireland. There has been a new movement in the organisation toward having even smaller regional entities one of which would cover the east of England and would be called Slow Food in East Anglia. New members to Slow Food England who live in the east of England which would include the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex will then join this larger regional grouping and when there was a large enough membership base in a particular city or town they could then also set up a group there, which could be such as a new Slow Food Cambridge or Slow Food Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

The changes in the regional structure came after several years of discussion and debate with the Slow Food membership throughout the whole UK which included lengthy consultations with Slow Food International in Italy. There were many debates in this time within the groups and wider membership about how and when the devolution of decision making to the four regions from Slow Food UK would take place and the new structure was finally put in place in early 2014. One of the prime movers of the push toward these new regional structure were Slow Food London and also members in Scotland who felt that they would be more successful in attracting new members as well as promoting the Slow Food ethos about food if they were devolved from remote Slow Food UK which is based in London.

Slow Food Norwich are looking forward to an exciting future within the new Slow Food England structure and will be working closely with other groups in East Anglia to also establish a vibrant and enthusiastic membership throughout the East of England. In the near future we also hope to be able to establish new groups in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, these would include Slow food groups in Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. We have already made contact with several restaurants and food businesses in Kings Lynn ho wish to set up  a new group in that historic city and we hope to have a new group there in the early spring of 2015. We are also working with Slow Food in England to obtain funding for a dedicated educational advisor who will also arrange and manage events also be tasked with carrying out fundraising activities. Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food in East Anglia will then be able to be in the position to organise more local workshops and events as well as carry out a much larger educational role by giving talks and lectures at schools, local communities and colleges throughout the eastern region.

Together with these exciting new developments we are now committed to taking part in several food and educational events in the region in the autumn and winter months with several more in the planning stage for 2015. We will be working closely with food producers in Norfolk and later in 2015 with producers in other parts of East Anglia, and also will be building on our already strong links with other groups in England and abroad.