Discussing Long-Term Legacy and Prioritising Sustainability at 11th Regions of Gastronomy Platform Meeting

Discussing Long-Term Legacy and Prioritising Sustainability at 11th Regions of Gastronomy Platform Meeting


The Regions of Gastronomy Platform celebrated its 11th Meeting on 14-16 June 2017, following the announcement of Kuopio (Finland) as European Region of Gastronomy 2020. Hosted by ProAgria North-Savo in the city of Kuopio, the meeting gathered representatives from IGCAT and the Platform member regions in order to discuss current situation and envision future steps. The Platform also welcomed Tourism Development Manager of Ljubljana Tourism, Petra Kri┼żan as observer from the region of Central Slovenia.

Given the strong interest expressed by a number of European regions to join the Platform and bid for the European Region of Gastronomy Award, members proposed to revise Platform’s guidelines, introducing a mandatory requirement for candidate regions to develop a gastronomy plan, in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. This decision, drawing from the successful implementation of a gastronomy plan in Catalonia, European Region of Gastronomy 2016, stressed the importance of knowledge- and good practices-sharing within the Platform that allows members to beneficially learn from each other.

Joint promotion strategies were also discussed, paying special attention to the agreement between IGCAT and the European Travel Commission to be signed on 20 June 2017 and aimed at ensuring visibility of the Regions of Gastronomy Platform in the Visit Europe Portal. Furthermore, a promotional video of the Regions of Gastronomy was officially presented and members asked for Dr Diane Dodd‘s address on Catering for Thrill-Seekers: New Travel Trends to the Kuopio stakeholders to be added as a voiceover so that it can be used in other public forums.

Special focus was paid to the legacy of the European Region of Gastronomy Award, emphasising the significance of regional evaluation to the project and of early establishment of monitoring tools. Prof. Roberta Garibaldi, from the University of Bergamo (Italy), presented East Lombardy, European Region of Gastronomy 2017 case study, showing preliminary results and sharing the evaluation template adopted to regularly monitor the region’s performance.

Sustainability was also at the centre of discussion, especially due to 2017 being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism promoted by UNWTO. In this framework, UNWTO – Themis Foundation International Liaison Officer and IGCAT Expert, Dr. Edith M. Szivas held a workshop on simple sustainability key indicators, encouraging regions to adopt them as a guide in their respective programmes. IGCAT, presented a Sustainability Policy proposal illustrating the Platform’s shared 10 point vision for sustainability and highlighting regions’ commitment in the following focus areas: Feeding the planet; Education; Responsible tourism; Innovation; Globalisation; Digital agenda; Linking urban and rural; Health; Diversity; and Supporting SMEs.

Reports from Platform members on monitoring and current situation highlighted major strengths and challenges faced by regions, with a special focus on legacy planning and opportunities for other regions to learn from their experience. Finally, possibilities for cross-collaboration and joint funding initiatives were also discussed, especially with the aim of giving wider visibility to the Regions of Gastronomy project.

Meeting sessions were interposed with interesting case studies and visits to local stakeholders and events, to give Partners a taste of Kuopio’s culinary and cultural offer. These included Benestatera well-being performance at Kuopio Central Market Square; Kuopio Dance FestivalSATOA Goes Wild Food Festival; and Kuopion Saunalautta.

The next Regions of Gastronomy Platform Meeting will be hosted by Riga-Gauja region (Latvia) in October 2017.

The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and Award aim to contribute to better quality of life in European regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic innovation. IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) organises the award with the support of European institutions.

IGCAT is a non-profit organisation established in 2012 working in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. Through its worldwide network of experts, IGCAT aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating, and supporting local leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. IGCAT is the official secretariat for the Region of Gastronomy Platform and provides the European Region of Gastronomy Award, the European Young Chef Award and the Innovative Food Souvenir Award.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Wassim Hallal

    Aarhus/Central Denmark Region 2017 will celebrate our widespread and innovative use of local ingredients.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Robert Palmer

    European Region of Gastronomy is a pioneering project of cultural and economic significance to all regions who participate.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Montserrat Garrido Romera

    Sant Pol de Mar is proud to share knowledge in raising the quality of culture and gastronomy offers.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Carme Ruscalleda

    Catalonia is committed to raising the quality of local cuisine and food products.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Francisco de Calheiros

    Minho IN aims to create synergies with other areas that share the same views on competitiveness and economic development.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Maurizio Zanella

    East Lombardy promotes food and wine tourism, with a particular attention to local cuisine and sustainable food production.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Dzintars Kristovskis

    Technology and cooking is so advanced that I feel the urge to go back to the roots. Riga-Gauja 2017 European Region of Gastronomy is going to be about that.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Joan Roca

    I congratulate this initiative that highlights the richness and diversity of European gastronomy, at the same time as valuing chefs for their role in ecology and sustainability.

  • AMBASSADORS

    Anton Rombouts

    North Brabant 2018 will highlight how agrifood industries are protecting food and culture diversity.

  • GALLERY

    1st Partner Meeting in North Brabant, April 2014

  • GALLERY

    2nd Partner Meeting in Sant Pol de Mar, Catalonia, June 2014

  • GALLERY

    Information Day at Brussels during the Open Day October 2014

  • GALLERY

    3rd Partner Meeting in Brussels, October 2014

  • GALLERY

    Regions bidding for the title in 2016 present to an international jury at Palacete Villa Moraes, Ponte de Lima, Viana do Castelo, 5 February 2015

  • GALLERY

    4th Partner Meeting in Minho, February 2015

  • GALLERY

    5th Partner Meeting Catalonia, June 2015

  • GALLERY

    Winning 2016 Regions Award Ceremony at the Pedrera, Barcelona, 2 July 2015

  • GALLERY

    Regions bidding for the title in 2017 present to an international jury at the Fundació Alicia, Catalonia, 3 July 2015

  • GALLERY

    Catalonia and Minho present their programmes for 2016 to SEDEC of the Committee of the Regions, 22 September 2015

  • GALLERY

    Winning 2017 Regions Award Ceremony at ExpoMilan, supported by DG Growth of the European Commission, 29 September 2015

  • GALLERY

    6th Partner Meeting Bergamo, 1 October 2015

  • GALLERY

    Regions present their candidature for 2018

  • GALLERY

    7th Partner Meeting in Noord-Brabant

  • GALLERY

    Winning 2018 Regions Award Ceremony in Aarhus

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