IGCAT gathered 21 representatives from 9 World and European Regions of Gastronomy (candidate and awarded) for the 26th IGCAT Platform Meeting (12-16 June) to discuss common challenges and learn from successful initiatives developed in Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023. Best Practise visits to different local stakeholders opened up conversations on several crucial concerns and encouraged the attendees to think about the role the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform can play in identifying possible sustainable solutions.
Topics discussed included:
- the need to increase organic farming and ensuring availability of healthy, local food products for schools and consumers in general;
- the importance of safeguarding local plant and animal varieties to ensure resilience for our future;
- the urgency to keep the farming heritage alive, in order to protect the environment and preserve traditional know-how for the generations to come;
- the benefits of supporting academic research and collaboration across regions and sectors to understand the links between food and health, as well as the impacts of our diets on our planet to successfully meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals;
- the value of preserving the local cultural heritage and embracing the past through innovative tourism strategies that instill pride in the local community;
- the challenge of creatively transmitting a region’s identity through gastronomy to provide visitors with authentic experiences in the destination.
Meetings and conversations were hosted and attended by different local stakeholders in the region, including: Euroalimentaire and MIN of Lomme; Les Fruits et Légumes Frais (Interfel); the Musée de Plein Air of Villeneuve d’Ascq; the Verger Conservatoire Régional des Hauts-de-France in Villeneuve d’Ascq and the Regional Centre of Genetic Resources (CRRG); the Cité des Électriciens and Autour du Louvre-Lens (ALL); UPERNOIR; the Musée des Hortillonnages; and UniLaSalle.
In the framework of the Platform Meeting, an award ceremony was held on 14 June at the Chamber of Trade and Industry of Amiens to announce IGCAT’s Top 10 Websites for Foodie Travelers 2023. During the ceremony, IGCAT signed an agreement with Kvarner (Croatia) for the region to join the Platform and bid for the European Region of Gastronomy 2026 title, in the presence of political representatives from Hauts-de-France who reiterated the importance of the international Platform as a point of reference and benchmarking.
Participants also had the chance to attend Omnivore Nord in Le Touquet, a highly acclaimed food fair that showcased local products and top chefs from the region, including Alexandre Gauthier, official ambassador of Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023.
The meeting was organised with the support of the main stakeholders of Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023: Campus des Métiers et des Qualifications d’Excellence, Tourisme et Innovation Hauts-de-France; Région Hauts-de-France; UMIH Hauts-de-France; Hauts-de-France Tourisme; UniLaSalle; Chambre de Commerce et de l’Industrie Hauts-de-France; POT Hauts-de-France; Chambre Régionale d’Agriculture Hauts-de-France; Chambre Régionale de Métiers et de l’Artisanat Hauts-de-France.