The Snail of Approval is an initiative of many Slow Food chapters across the US with the goal of recognizing the food-related providers who are making significant contributions to the quality of our food and drink, and thus, the quality of our lives.

Be sure to look for this Slow Food Snail of Approval sign on businesses.

Interested in a quick look at the SoA Award requirements? SoA Application Checklist


Who is eligible for the Snail Approval?

  • Educational Entities
  • Farmers
  • Food and Beverage Artisans
  • Purveyors/Retailers/Wholesalers
  • Restaurants
  • Value-Added Producer

What are the standards of a Snail of Approval business?


Quality is fundamental – food must taste good and be good for us. Quality includes; the freshness and wholesomeness of ingredients; the care and craft with which they are handled; and the quality of life of consumers, producers and their neighbors. The Snail of Approval program sets a standard of quality based on food that is good, clean and fair.


Authenticity means that the food is true to its source. Natural products free of additives are true to themselves; local, seasonal foods are true to their time and place; heirloom varietals and heritage breeds are true to their evolutionary history; traditional foods are true to their cultural heritage. Authentic foods come from, and contribute to, their ecological and cultural systems that are good, clean and fair.


Sustainability means that we must pay attention to the consequences of how we produce and distribute food. We must be good land stewards of the environment in which we live; we must protect the biodiversity on which we depend; we must be humane to the animals we raise, we must be fair to the people we employ, and we must insist that high quality food be available to all. Sustainability means reducing all the negative consequences of making food – it means using processes that are good, clean and fair.

Who may nominate a business for the Snail of Approval?

That’s an easy one to answer. Anyone! Loyal customers, friends, relatives, partners, employees, fellow business owners are all eligible to nominate a business – the more nominations, the better!

How and when should I nominate a business?

Go to our nomination page and complete the form. It’s that easy! Applications are reviewed between November 1 to December 31, but feel free to submit your nomination at any time. Encourage others who agree the business meets our quality, authenticity, and sustainability standard. Previous awardees may be re-nominated.

What are the benefits of the Snail of Approval award?

  • Community recognition for offering good, clean fair food of quality, authenticity, and sustainability
  • Inclusion on our website and social media posts
  • A network of slow food businesses
  • A Snail of Approval icon for inclusion on websites, menus, newsletters
  • A Snail of Approval decal