Wine tasting events, excursions and trainings are going very well
Our project vision is to support the island of Crete to become a role model for a sustainable food destination. In the first two years of the project, the framework and necessary elements to head for this bold vision were created: setting up a network of farmers, wineries, olive oil mills and hotels, creating sustainable project wines and olive oils, linking the products with the tourism industry and training hotel staff and farmers.
Our joint project is now in the final third year of the first phase of the project, and this final year is fully devoted to increase the visibility, the promotion and sales of the project products.
And this is going on very well so far, thanks to the dedication and passion of all participants in Crete. The year is not over yet, nevertheless we would like to publish the outstanding results that were accomplished in the first half of 2019:
Sale of wines and olive oil
- The sale of wines and olive oils are developing very positively in the recent months due to various measures. For example, guests now have the opportunity to purchase the wine or olive oil after the tastings or in the hotel’s minimarket and take them home as souvenirs.
- 4,407 liters of wine have been sold to the participating hotels as well as tourists in the first half of the season 2019. The sale of wines in hotels has been risen by over 50% in this time, and sales in the first half of 2019 are at the same level as sales in the whole of 2018! By now more than 10% of all wines used in hotels are our project wines – a remarkable result!
- Furthermore, the project’s olive oil from Kritsa enjoys great popularity. The sale in hotels has been risen by almost 260%, already every sixth of all olive oils bought is our project olive oil. In total, 3,550 liters of the project oil were sold in this half year (compared to the first half of 2018 with 378 liters).
- The 26 new sustainably labelled project products (21 wines and 5 olive oils) have been sold for more than 90.000 Euros since the start of the project in 2017 until now, which is amazing!
- 99 events such as cooking classes with olive oil or wine and olive oil tastings were conducted in the first half of 2019, attended by more than 1,500 guests (2018: 89 events and 1,283 guests).
- The participants rated the events on average with 4.6 out of 5 point which is very promising.
- A total of 77 farmers and employees of the participating food production companies took part in the events.
- Interactive excursions have been developed and implemented in order to introduce the guests in an interesting way to the special features of our sustainable products exclusively for our project.
- Three wine excursions took place between May and July. Additionally, the olive oil excursion started in June 2019.
- Both excursions were rated by the participants with a recommendation rate of a fantastic 99% out of 100%.
Since 2018, the project has been accompanied by a train-the-trainer program, which aims to train a total of 21 key people of the hotels, production facilities and cooperatives involved in the project. Our project partners Local Food Experts sce and blueContec GmbH intensively trained these 21 people in the past year to develop, promote and sell sustainable cultivation methods and sustainably produced, regional products. Since then, they have been passing on their knowledge to their colleagues on a regular basis. Since the beginning of the year, more than 470 hotel employees have been trained on the project content and the special features of the products so that they can pass on this knowledge to the hotel guests and their colleagues.
This year, 55 wine growers and 123 olive growers have been given additional knowledge in individual and group training on sustainable cultivation methods, the use of natural fertilizers, increasing biodiversity or increasing soil health. The progress has been reviewed in more than 230 local audits.
In addition, the trainers of the production sites were trained in sustainable crop practices and soil management. Under their guidance, large quantities of vermicompost were distributed in the vineyards as soil improver.
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.