European Region of Gastronomy Focus Areas
Galway’s Focus Areas
A stakeholder briefing workshop which was held on 22nd September 2015 and attended by in excess of 100 participants included a very productive workshop which will inform Galway’s bid to become the European Region of Gastronomy 2018. Five key focus areas were prioritised by participants at the workshop and these will inform the development of the Bid Book. The areas prioritised are as follows:
Education: The European Parliament recently called for gastronomy and food to be re-integrated into the education curriculum – a move that the European Region of Gastronomy Platform fully supports. The European Region of Gastronomy Platform works closely with education and knowledge institutions in the host regions and elsewhere to disseminate information about the importance of regional gastronomy in education.
Health & Sustainability: Food is vital for health, and gastronomy is the art of eating well. By showcasing regional and local foods that are wholesome and healthy, the European Region of Gastronomy Platform hopes to contribute to raising awareness of health issues and to promote healthy eating.
Sustainable local, regional and global food systems are important for all our futures. The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and award aims to support smart strategies for sustainable and ethical tourism, as well as food and gastronomy practices with the aim to develop more environmentally, socially, culturally and economically sustainable food production and consumption.
Supporting SMEs & Innovation: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of regional food production and the mainstay of gastronomic experiences. The European Region of Gastronomy Platform is designed to promote the work of SMEs and to help them achieve greater environmental, economic and cultural sustainability.
Local food cultures are an important source of innovation. Traditions developed over centuries form the vital ‘DNA’ of food cultures and regional gastronomy, and local knowledge is therefore an important potential source of new ideas and innovative products and experiences.
Cultural Diversity: Regional gastronomy provides a wealth of diversity, not just in terms of a vast range of different foods, but also in the many ways of eating, presenting and serving foods around Europe. Through the European Region of Gastronomy Platform and award, we hope to conserve local food cultures and help to promote the diversity of food, culture and creativity.
Linking Urban & Rural: Recent years have seen a growing divide between Europe’s rural and urban areas, particularly in the area of food. Young city dwellers are often no longer aware where their food comes from. The European Region of Gastronomy award provides an opportunity for regions to re-connect their rural and urban environments, bringing the countryside to the city, and the city to the countryside. The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and award also stimulate debate between urban and rural dwellers about the future of food and gastronomy.