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.