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

After the winter break and a successful event at the ITB in Berlin, the participants of the project “Crete – First steps towards a sustainable food destination” supported by the TUI Care Foundation started into the new season. Its motto is to further increase the promotion of the self-assessed sustainable project wines and olive oils which are newly produced by the participating project’ wineries and olive mills.

In early May around 60 representatives of nine participating hotels, two wineries, one olive mill, one agricultural cooperative as well as the local TUI Destination Experiences team gathered in the TUI Magic Life Candia Maris to sum up the achievements and challenges of the past year and to set and agree on targets for the upcoming season.

Firstly, the project team led by Maria Valerga (Senior Consultant for sustainable tourism), Kostas Bouyouris (CPO – Chief Project Officer) and Sotiris Bampagiouris (CEO) of the Local Food Experts social cooperative enterprise from Crete as well as by Andreas Koch, CEO of bluecontec, presented the video “Taste Crete”which was produced during the seasonal winter break. The video does not only show the unique beauty of the island, but more importantly where the self-assessed sustainable wines and olive oils come from and how they are produced.

Currently, 27 sustainable labelled products (21 wines of Cretan indigenous varieties, 5 olive oils and one dry bread label) are available on the market. The main target for the coming season is therefore to increase the marketing and promotion of the project and the products within the hotels and food production units. To reach this goal the project aims to improve the direct contact between the farming sector, local society, and the holidaymakers.The participating hotels  are committed to further increase the number of wine and olive oil tastings in their hotel in order to present the special characteristics and taste of their Cretan wines and olive oils to the holidaymakers in a relaxed and professional atmosphere. Further measures that are implemented by different hotels of the project to increase the promotion of these traditional products are, amongst other, the promotion of the activities and the sustainable wines and olive oils through the hotel’s social media channels and their websites, the inclusion of the products in the hotel’s mini-markets as well as the design of a special sustainable products corner.

Following the successful wine excursions of last season, an interactive olive oil excursion was developed in cooperation with the TUI Destination Experiences team, giving participants interesting and profound insights into the cultivation, processing and use of Cretan olive oils. During this excursion guests are not only visiting one of the oldest olive oil mills in the area but will also have the opportunity to take part in an olive oil tasting event. Another highlight of this excursion is the “authentic home cooking“ performed by the local women of Kritsa in their gastronomic laboratory inside the village. This special new excursion is planned to start from June on.

The kick-off event was finalised by a meeting of the trainers involved in the project´s “Train the Trainer” programme. Here the trainer’s tasks and activities were presented and discussed.

The project team was happy with the large number of participants that committed to join the kick-off despite a busy opening period in light of the starting season.

The project

Crete - first steps towards a sustainable food destination

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.

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Inga Meese
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