On Tuesday 5th May 2015, a first meeting of prominent stakeholders took place to discuss and share ideas for Catalonia’s year as European Region of Gastronomy in 2016. IGCAT’s Director, Dr. Diane Dodd, was invited to participate in the meeting to explain the concept behind the award and the Platform. As secretariat for the platform, IGCAT coordinates and manages the award as well as supports the international platform of regional partners. The meeting included around 60 stakeholders representing private, public, third sector and academic institutions that have been identified as key actors in Catalonia’s gastronomy sector.
Diane congratulated the bidding team for their outstanding work, which included Domènec Vila and Mireia Medina i Sala of the Department of Agiculture, as well Patrick Torrent and Blanca Cros from the Tourism Board, as well as C’REG 2016 general coordinator, Ramon Sentmarti. Diane briefly explained the selection criteria for winning the award and also highlighted the need for gastronomic regional differentiation, which the award aims to help to protect.
The meeting emphasised the huge opportunity Catalonia now has to promote existing and develop new cultural and sustainable tourism offers, promote food producers, as well as the possibility to further highlight Catalonia on the world culinary map. Attendees were asked to support the team and offer ideas that could contribute to the 2016 programme. Guests were also invited to the official launch of the European Region of Gastronomy 2016 award, which will take place in the iconic La Pedredra building in Barcelona, on 2 July 2015.