Tuesday 6 December 2022

Azerbaijan debuts at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

TURIN, Italy, September 27, 2022

Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB), Azerbaijan State Tourism Agency (STA) and Azerbaijan National Culinary Center (ANCC) debuted at the recently concluded Terra Madre Salone del Gusto festival with the exquisite national stand.

At the festival ATB and the partners represented Azerbaijan, its rich biodiversity along with newly developed Slow Food Travel Azerbaijan concept. ATB shared the remarkable results of The COVCHEG (Community-based Value Chain Enhancement in the Greater Caucasus Mountains) project implemented together with Slow Food International and the European Union.

The presentation mainly focused on the first five Presidia products, namely Ata-Baba Hazelnut, Caucasian Buffalo, Caucasian Mountain Honey, Madrasa Grape and Wild Caucasian Rosehip, and more than 30 biodiversity products that are on board of the Ark of Taste catalog. Sakina Asgarova, Head of Gastronomy Tourism experience at ATB conducted a seminar on the development of the first ever the national Ark of Taste menu based on the "slow food" philosophy.

On the second day of the festival a cooperation agreement was signed between ATB and Slow Food International. The agreement encourages prioritization of the development of Slow Food elements and increasing the awareness of the Slow Food philosophy; reassures preservation of biodiversity, food and taste education, and Slow Food Travel; and promotes cooperation and collaboration between parties to make these goals achievable. The agreement was signed by Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of ATB and Marta Messa, Director of Brussels office of Slow Food International.

“Azerbaijan’s many great assets, including its favourable climate and natural resources, have allowed us to develop the Slow Food Travel concept here within the COVCHEG project. It is one of ATB’s very important steps towards building sustainable tourism in Azerbaijan. With relevant stakeholders involved in the process, ATB and Slow Food continue their travel philosophy in the direction of the Southern region, the gastronomic paradise of Azerbaijan, and plans to present the tourism route created in that direction at the next Terra Madre event,” said Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board.

Within the Terra Madre Florian Sengstschmid also participated in a panel session on the new Slow Food Travel destinations. He noted that Azerbaijan is the first destination outside Schengen economic zone that has utilized its Slow Food potential by turning it into tourism products. He also discussed the development of sustainable and responsible tourism experiences by using existing tangible and intangible resources of the country.

The team held more than 200 meetings with farmers, cheesemakers, herders, butchers, bakers, winegrowers, and other participants of the supply chain, and collaborated with over 100 smallholder farms. As a result, 10 touristic experiences have been developed and integrated into the dedicated SFT map.

This map shows the local producers to meet, products to taste and places to visit across the north-western route of the country in Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Gabala, Sheki and Gakh. There are now 60 SFT partners who provide a wide range of services, from available gastronomic experiences to accommodation options, within the designated routes in Azerbaijan.

The main aim of the Terra Madre festival is to serve as a global market exhibition where consumers can be educated about good quality food and wine, as well as their production. The festival is very popular and only in 2018, Terra Madre welcomed around 220,000 visitors, 7000 delegates from 150 countries, and 100 exhibitors from 83 countries.

This year, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto presented the “Regeneration” theme, which focused on agro-ecological renewals and transitions. This idea is aligned with Slow Food’s outlook which beliefs in the enhancement of the working process in agriculture, and our tendencies in the production and distribution of the products. Moreover, such idea implies the necessity of positive changes in our diets and consumption habits. – TradeArabia News Service


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