The Region of Gastronomy Award has captured the minds and hearts of many that see this is a pioneering effort to empower regions by supporting their food and cultural initiatives and providing a platform from which to promote regional diversity and richness.
The European Platform has quickly gained significant recognition, for example, we were able to present the awarded regions in EXPO Milan 2015 hosted by DG Growth of the European Commission and in 2016 we had a voice at the IFAMA World Conference where our network was publicly endorsed by European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan. Further to this, we have also received endorsements from DG Education and Culture and the Chair of the SEDEC Committee of the Council of Europe.
On 11 October 2017, in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels, policy-makers and experts from six European Regions of Gastronomy gathered in a workshop organised by IGCAT in close cooperation with the Brabant and Finnish ERG-teams to discuss the significant role food and gastronomy can play in sustainable regional development.
IGCAT and its flagship European Regions of Gastronomy Platform and Award was applauded at the 2nd UNESCO/UNWTO World Conference on Culture and Tourism, in Muscat, Oman 11-12 December 2017 as a leading initiative fostering sustainable cultural tourism development.
In 2018, IGCAT was invited to several international conferences and forums to present the Regions of Gastronomy programme including the ASEAN Gastronomy Conference, held in the framework of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (Chiang Mai, Thailand, 22-26 January 2018); the Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF), celebrated in Macau, 22-25 October 2018; and the 1st Asian Network of Cultural Intermediaries Forum in Taiwan, 2-3 November 2018.
The Regions of Gastronomy Platform strengthened its presence in Brussels during the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018, where IGCAT organised a round table on Creativity and cross-sectorial working strengthening European Regions of Gastronomy (8 October 2018), in collaboration with Slovenia and Coimbra Region, European Regions of Gastronomy awarded 2021. The event counted with a strong support from the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the SEDEC Commission, and was opened by President of CoR, Karl-Heinz Lambertz.
On 26 March 2019, the 1st World Regions of Gastronomy Meeting was organised in Barcelona and set the purpose of expanding the Region of Gastronomy Award for protecting and promoting food and cultural diversity worldwide. Attendees included representatives from Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific and UNWTO, as well as awarded and candidate Regions of Gastronomy in Europe.
IGCAT contributed to the UNESCO International Forum on Creativity and cultural tourism for sustainable urban development, held in Mazatlán, Mexico on 5-7 June 2019, highlighting how the focus areas from the Regions of Gastronomy project support the United Nation´s agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Brussels hosted the European Region of Gastronomy Platform once again on 9 October 2019 with the Greener and Healthier Futures round table organised by IGCAT, in collaboration with Menorca and Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Regions of Gastronomy awarded 2022, as an official side event to the European Week of Regions and Cities 2019. Deputy Head of the Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries Unit of DG GROW, Milosz Momot and First Vice-Chairman of the SEDEC Commission of the European Committee of the Regions, Alin-Adrian Nica contributed to the event and expressed their support to the Region of Gastronomy project.
On 23 January 2020, in the framework of FITUR (Madrid), Saint Augustine – Saint Johns County (Florida) signed a declaration of intention with IGCAT to become the first candidate American Region of Gastronomy for 2023 and lead on the creation of an American Region of Gastronomy Platform. The event was attended by representatives from awarded European Regions of Gastronomy and potential candidates from other continents.