Providing visibility for Europe’s lesser-known regions
The 9th partner meeting of the European Region of Gastronomy Platform, organised by IGCAT and hosted by the city of Sibiu, in the Sibiu region (Romania), took place on Friday 29 September 2016 at the Complexul Naţional Muzeal ASTRA Sibiu. The meeting gathered representatives of ten European partner regions as well as experts from IGCAT. The meeting also welcomed Giovanni Scaramuzzo as an Observer from Basilicata region (Italy).
At this Platform meeting, members’ looked at the challenges of promoting gastronomy regions for sustainable tourism and, in particular, visibility at international fairs was reviewed. Dr. Diane Dodd noted a cultural truth, that regions that have had less visibility and less opportunities to progress now have a unique advantage with unspoilt land and potential to develop sustainable tourism models. In light of this, the Platform discussed initiatives that could foster cross-marketing opportunities and link gastronomy tourism to other healthy lifestyle niche tourism markets.
IGCAT and all the members regions reported about their programmes, activities and current situation that raised awareness of the many and varied initiatives that have begun under the umbrella of the European Region of Gastronomy title. New guidelines are currently being drawn up to help support new regions joining the Platform and that are intended to ensure that the maximum benefits are attained when holding the title.
The benefits of region to region peer monitoring were also discussed in light of the successfulGalway and South Aegean jury visits that combined founder regional representatives with IGCAT experts. In terms of evaluation the members found a paper submitted by Peter Astrup and Roberta Garibaldi helpful in underlining a structure for future evaluations and these will be added to the guidelines while at the same time new regions will be encouraged to partner with local universities to secure an independent evaluation of the regions ability to meet the goals it set out in the bid book.
IGCAT thanked the Platform for their commitment to the first edition of the European Young Chef Award, where 10 young chefs from most of the partner regions will compete.
Other events that the Platform will take part in this year include, a S3 Smart Specialization Agrifood Strategy Platform on 10 October, and Forum Gastronomic, 23-26 October.
The next meeting of the Platform will take place in February in the South Aegean region following an Award Ceremony for the European Region of Gastronomy 2019.
About the European Region of Gastronomy
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. Candidate regions are invited to join a knowledge-exchange platform of European regions in order to further cross-border collaborations and develop shared initiatives.
IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) organises the award with the support of European institutions and is an international network of experts that aim to guide, facilitate and support leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.