Debating the future of the Catalan Gastronomy

Catalonia, European Region of Gastronomy 2016 has been celebrated during the last 10 months with an excellent programme of new initiatives, key actions and activities, helping not only to engage visitors through the region’s landscape and food diversity but also encouraging a closer cooperation between different sectors like agriculture and tourism in order to develop, improve and innovate gastronomy experiences in a more sustainable way.

Amongst the activities, the 17 edition of the Fòrum Gastronòmic took place on 26 OCtober 2016, where relevant representatives of the stakeholders group representing Catalonia, European Region of Gastronomy 2016 came together to debate the future and how to manage strategically in order to improve the quality and the image of Catalan gastronomy.

Contributions were made to this concluding event from nine lead-up meetings, with key experts coming from different Catalan sectors,  that had discussed in-depth local development, nutrition, health, education, identity, heritage, tourism, communication, training, innovation, economy and internationalisation. These sessions contributed to finding solutions and formed a pillar for the wider conversation.

“Given the urgent need to support traditional agriculture, educate for better health and well-being and find creative solutions for sustainable futures, these inter-sectorial meetings are absolutely essential and I applaud this intiative.” said IGCAT President, Dr. Diane Dodd after participating as an observer in two of the nine meetings – one on internationalisation and the other on local development.

At the concluding event at Fòrum Gastrònomic, moderated by Prodeca and the Catalan Tourism Board, the stakeholder groups agreed that the Catalan Gastronomy has huge potential to develop the territory and export products and a positive image to other countries. The participants acknowledged that the task is not an easy one with Catalonia encompassing many different and disperse actors. Thanks to the European Region of Gastronomy, different sectors are starting to cooperate together and to think more strategically about how to work together in a more unified way.

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. It 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.