The project was created as a local enhancement and international integration and exchange tool, thanks to the activity of an independent institute of coordination - IGCAT, International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism – along with nine founding regions – Marseille – Provence (France), Lombardy (Italy), Riga-Gauja (Latvia), North East Brabant (Netherlands), Minho (Portugal), Aarhus (Denmark), Catalonia (Spain), Malta, Sibiu and Transylvania (Romania).
A growing international platform was created by these 10 regions, aiming to foster the integration among culture, tourism and gastronomy, as well as enhancing the local food cultures representing an amazing source of cultural, economical and social diversity and to promote the implementation of sustainable production and consumption methods, along with the increasing spreading of food education.
These ten regions decided to team up and create the European Region of Gastronomy project, in order to address several specific needs that have been showing up in the last years on an international scale. In fact, together with the globalization and the growing industrialization influencing consumers’ lives all over the world, over the last century people have started to face two new kinds of need. On one side, the desire to go find specific and peculiar food and wine cultures featuring different territories. On the other side, the need to enhance their own culinary background and their own products. In fact, these products do not only represent a significant cultural heritage and the traditions endangered by the increasing internationalization and interconnection of global market, but they also become essential tools to promote sustainable development and healthy nutrition.
In order to boost and achieve these very significant goals, the project awards 2 or 3 regions as European Region of Gastronomy every year, selected by a jury of international experts coordinated by IGCAT, evaluating the nominees based on their predisposition towards the following main goals:
Feeding the planet
Supporting SME in the new global market
Integration between local and global dimension
Sustainability and promotion of culture and food diversity
East Lombardy, the founding member of this international network, obtained thie award for the year 2017 by starting the candidacy procedure back in 2014 and presenting the project in July 2015 in Barcelona to an international jury, which positively assessed both its goals and the shared strategies designed to promote food culture.