Crete - First steps towards a sustainable food destination
Berlin, 14 March 2017.”Sustainable Food: A Benefit for Destinations and Vacationers”- under this title Futouris e. V. and the TUI Care Foundation presented on Friday at ITB congress their joint commitment to Crete, which includes the linkage of the two most important economic sectors of the island – tourism and agriculture. Futouris and TUI Care Foundation will be connecting 24 wine growers, two wineries, 25 olive farmers and an olive mill with the local tourism sector, thereby contributing to the development of the Greek island as a showcase for sustainable food on holiday.
Elena Kountoura, Greek Minister of Tourism: “2017 is a year of dynamic growth for Greece as a global attractive tourism destination, following two consecutive years of record-breaking results. This growth is steadily being achieved in a sustainable and forward-looking manner. We are glad that we are able to go a new way together with the TUI Care Foundation and Futouris in Crete and help to strengthen Greece as a sustainable holiday destination.”.
Hasso von Düring, CEO of Futouris e.V. and CEO of Lufthansa City Center GmbH: “The awareness for sustainable nutrition is continuing to grow. This can be recognized, among other things, in the steadily increasing demand for regional or organic food from our guests. The potential influence of the tourism operators in holiday regions is high, because large quantities of food are purchased and processed there. We should make use of this great leverage effect in order to strengthen the positive effects of a sustainable food supply”.
“With the TUI Care Foundation, we are committed to helping the people in destinations all over the world. We are now strengthening Crete as a forward-looking holiday region and opening up new perspectives there for wine and olive growers. With the development of the largest Greek island as a showcase for sustainable agriculture and sustainable holidays, we would also like to help make Greece even more attractive as a tourist destination”, says Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation.
The project focuses on the two main products of Crete – wine and olive oil – and their ecological cultivation and processing process.
In addition, seven traditional Cretan vines are particularly promoted by the production of local wines. Bart Lyrarakis, managing director of Lyrarakis Winery in Crete, emphasizes the importance of the project for the preservation of local wine varieties. His vineyard was already involved in the pilot phase “Sustainable Winegrowing” in 2016, in which sustainable cultivation practices were implemented in cooperation with 47 local winegrowers and wine events took place in selected hotels.
In order to enable guests to visit local production sites and to communicate directly with wine- and olive-growers, an innovative and interactive excursion programme will be developed. Awareness and communication measures will accompany the project.
In the long term, an improvement in regional food quality and quantity in holiday hotels should be achieved, the negative environmental impacts of agriculture should be reduced, as well as the local economy strengthened. In addition, holiday makers will benefit from an expanded regional Offer of dishes in hotels and on excursions.
The project is implemented by the Greek project partners Local Food Experts, which bring together a large network of local farmers as well as many years of expertise in sustainable agriculture, and environmental experts blueContec from Hanover, who bring a comprehensive experience in improving the sustainability performance of hotels.
In this project 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.