Crete - first steps towards a sustainable food destination


Olive oil and wine - both are foods that are indispensable to Greek culture and play an important role in Crete's economy. At the same time, the conventional cultivation methods create a variety of sustainability challenges. In particular, environmental pollution, loss of profits and the closure of many small farms are the result.



In addition to agriculture, tourism is the main source of income for the island. A sustainable food and beverage offer is becoming increasingly important to the holidaymakers, in particular the offer of typical regional dishes. Why not connect the two industries and take advantages for the destination as well as the holidaymakers?

This is where the joint project "Crete - step by step to a model destination for sustainable food on holiday" is set by the TUI Care Foundation and Futouris. Together with the local partners Local Food Experts and the environmental consultants BlueContec, local farmers are brought to a better understanding of sustainable management methods and are connected with local tourism professionals. The link will be used to identify and exploit synergies between food producers and holiday makers. Sustainable food production and sustainable tourism services are the pillars of a sustainable regional development of the island. In the long term, an improvement in food quality and quantity is to be achieved, the negative environmental impacts of agriculture are reduced as well as the local economy is strengthened. In addition to the sustainable production of wine and olive oil, sustainable agricultural products are to be added in the long term.

The holidaymakers also benefit from a larger regional food offer and more intense taste. In order to enable guests to visit local production sites and exchange with wine and olive growers, an innovative and interactive excursion program is being developed. Awareness and communication measures accompany the project.

As part of the project, seven traditional Cretan grape vines will be particularly promoted through the production of local wines, thus preserving the local wine varieties. The project is based on the pilot project "Sustainable Viticulture" carried out in 2016, in which 47 local farmers have already been brought to a sustainable cultivation practice and to organize wine events in selected hotels.

News about this project


Futouris and TUI Care Foundation successfully complete project on Crete

The project on sustainable food production and consumption for tourisms in Crete, launched by Futouris and the TUI Care Foundation in July 2017, was successfully completed after three years. More than 20 local wine labels from seven indigenous Cretan grape varieties were developed - two of which have been certified as organic - as well as five olive oil labels which were promoted in numerous food-tasting events and two exclusive excursions.

Wine tasting events, excursions and trainings are going very well

Our joint project on Crete is very successful as the interim results of the first half of 2019 show: The sale of the project wines and olive oils has developed very positively, and the guests enjoy the developed cooking classes and tastings very much.

Successful presentation and communication of our joint Crete project to various stakeholders

Over the past few weeks, the project team has introduced our joint project to EU policymakers during an event in Brussels as well as to numerous journalists on a press trip in Crete. During the wine tastings all participants could taste the excellent quality of the project wines.

Discovering sustainable Cretan olive oil on an exclusive excursion

Since June guests have the opportunity to experience the fascinating world of sustainable olive oil in Crete and receive interesting and exciting information on sustainable cultivation of one of the oldest olive varieties “Koroneiki” in the Mediterranean, on proper storage or local uses during an exclusive excursion.

The Crete sustainable food destination started with a successful kick-off event into the new season

The joint project "Crete - First steps towards a sustainable food destination" of the TUI Care Foundation and Futouris started with a successful kick-off event in the new season. Together with the project partners Local Food Experts sce and bluecontec GmbH, the participants worked out the goals and measures for the coming season.

Presentation of the results and tasting of the Cretan wines and olive oils on ITB

Together with the project partners bluecontec GmbH and Local Food Experts sce the TUI Care Foundation and Futouris presented the results of the first two years of the project “Crete – first steps towards a sustainable food destination” on ITB and invited the participants to taste the project wines and olive oils.

Remembering summer 2017: Reviving Cretan Wines in Agapi Beach of Sbokos Hotel Group

In this guest comment, Georgia Malefitsaki, F&B manager of Agapi Beach Resort | Sbokos Hotel Group is addressing the 2017 wine tasting events and highlights some of the guets' comments.

First Cretan sustainable wines produced

In the joint project by TUI Care Foundation and Futouris, last year’s harvest produced the first eight types of sustainable wines from indigenous Cretan varieties. Seven hotels supporting the initiative will be offering these wines to their customers at the beginning of the 2018 summer season and proivde authentic local flavour.

Roundtable in sacred halls

Futouris premiere: For the first time, a roundtable takes place in sacred halls. The meeting was held with 36 participants in the Holy Monastery Saint George Epanosofis on the island of Crete during which the project content was discussed and the monastery was visited.

Tipping vines and tasting wines in Creta Maris Beach Resort, Crete

In this narrative commentary, Dimitris Efthimiou, Guest Service Manager at Creta Maris Beach Resort, portrays how a vine tipping and wine tasting experience for tourists on Crete looks like. He empathically shares perspectives of Cretan locals and outlines the cross-generational meaning of wine-making and agriculture on the island of Crete.

Project profile

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Project location
Crete, Greece
Project sponsor
Project start
Project duration
3 years
Project partners
Local Food Experts / BlueContec