Cheese 2017 in Bra, Italy, will be the location for a meeting between 11 partners from five European Union member states (Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) to officially launch Slow Food Central Europe, a project financed by the EU program Interreg Central Europe.
Cheese 2017 will provide an opportunity for Slow Food Central Europe’s partners to share their vision of the increasing importance of gastronomy as cultural expression. Gastronomy is largely used to promote tourism but hardly ever treated as a resource that can leverage environmental sustainability and social integration. This new project is aimed at improving the capacities of local actors to add value to the intangible heritage of food, while integrating economic, environmental and social sustainability.
Cities are a perfect laboratory where such a change can be successfully achieved: small enough to strongly influence the entrepreneurial and social scene but also large enough to serve as gateways to international markets. The Slow Food Central Europe project will test innovative, community-led solutions for the promotion of gastronomic heritage in public urban spaces in five cities: Venice (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Krakow (Poland), Brno (Czech Republic) and Kecskemét (Hungary).
Piero Sardo, the president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, says: “Each country has its own cultural identity, of which its gastronomic heritage is also an integral part. This gastronomic heritage is made up of products, traditions and artisanal knowledge, the result of thousands of years of human presence in a specific place, but also of the exchanges that local communities have established over time with other peoples. This diversity distinguishes and enriches us, at every latitude. In the case of Central European countries, the true protagonists of this project, this cultural diversity is based on common foundations. Searching for the gastronomic products and traditions of each country and the artisanal knowledge necessary to preserve them while safeguarding and enhancing agricultural biodiversity is the project’s main objective.”
A member of the board of Europa Nostra, an associated partner of Slow Food Central Europe, will attend the launch meeting. Europa Nostra is a pan-European federation of heritage organizations, giving voice to the sector of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. It covers 40 countries in Europe and represents 250 heritage NGOs, 150 public bodies and private companies and 1,200 individuals.
The Slow Food Central Europe project partners are:
City of Venice (Italy)
University of Gastronomic Sciences (Italy)
City of Dubrovnik Development Agency – DURA (Croatia)
Kinookus Association (Croatia)
Tourist Authority South Moravia – CCRJM (Czech Republic)
Slow Food Brno (Czech Republic)
City of Krakow (Poland)
Slow Food Polska (Poland)
City of Kecskemét (Hungary)
Slow Food Kiskunság (Hungary)