IGCAT is a non-profit organisation established in 2012 working in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. Through its worldwide network of experts, IGCAT aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating and supporting leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. IGCAT is furthermore the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform, the European Young Chef Award and the Local Food Gift Award.
By working with intergovernmental, governmental, regional and local policy-makers we aim to capitalise on local food, culture and natural assets thus giving visibility to local products, creativity and services. Ultimately, we aim to contribute to better quality of life for citizens by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic and creative innovation.
IGCAT experts believe that Food and Cultural Diversity is an important source of pride and entrepreneurial opportunities to empower local communities.
IGCAT experts join forces to instil local pride by building alliances across local communities and across sectors to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking, creativity and innovation based on traditions and intangible heritage, elements that are important resources to empower and preserve cultural expression in local communities.
In doing so, IGCAT also increases awareness of issues concerning food production and waste, and stimulates more responsible consumerism.
Through our international institute and partners, we direct projects that build synergies across different sectors, give visibility to the issues we care about and help long-term sustainable growth in regions and cities. Such projects include:
- European Region of Gastronomy Award and Platform – this is a title awarded by IGCAT (jury of experts) to regions that commit to a programme of events designed to promote distinctive food cultures, educate for better health and sustainability, and stimulate gastronomic innovation. Regions that bid for the title participate in an international Platform of regions to support cross-marketing and knowledge sharing.
- European Young Chef Award – this project aims to support local products, recipes and traditions by giving visibility to young chefs that can act as ambassadors for their region in the future.
- Events and Destination Management – training programmes aimed to develop smart events strategies for sustainable futures
- Cities of Culture – mentoring and support from key experts on areas related to capacity building, artistic and creative development, management and long-term strategies, citizen engagement, audience development and smart sustainable events.
- Local Food Gift Award – this project aims to encourage local creativity and invention, as well as territorial visibility through the development of creative, useful and practical local food products (in development).
We welcome new IGCAT experts into our network, to share experiences, research trends and identify good practise. Given the urgency of climate change, reduced biodiversity, global economic inequality, health and nutritional needs we need inter-sectorial dialogue on these major issues. By joining this global interdisciplinary network of experts you commit to sharing ideas, concerns and good practise. The communication tools IGCAT experts have at their disposal include:
- A quarterly newsletter with news and trends from around the world
- Expert Papers from our global network made available online
- Bespoke training for cities and regions using a service-learning model and approach
- Keynote speakers and expert moderators available for conferences
- At least one annual expert meeting and round table event
- Facebook – LinkedIN group – Twitter
- Dedicated website : www.igcat.org
Together we will empower cities and regions!