- 2,150 people, working on farms, in hotels or restaurants, benefit from programme about regenerative food production practices
- 130 farmers and 60 chefs receive direct training and technical support
- Holistic approach fosters land restoration, secures rural livelihoods, and promotes Andalusia as a travel destination
Berlin, 5 December 2018. Through the TUI Cares for Andalusia project, TUI Care Foundation works with the local partner AlVelAl to restore the landscape in the high plateau of Southern Spain, linking local food products like almonds, olive oil, honey and wine to off-takers in holiday destinations. The areas covered - Altiplano, Los Vélez, and Alto Almanzoram (AlVelAl) comprise of 1 million hectares with up to 250.000 inhabitants.
After decades of unsustainable land use practices, farmers in the plateau regions of Andalusia are struggling against the accelerating effects of climate change - severe soil erosion, a scarcity of ground water and an ongoing loss of biodiversity is threatening both, the environment and its people. The productivity and profitability of small-scale farmers has been declining, with unemployment figures spiking up to 60% in recent years. Rural populations need sustainable businesses and access to markets. By combining both - land restoration and food businesses, TUI Care Foundation and its partners plant the seeds for the sustainable development of the rural areas in the region.
Both partners are joining hands in an attempt to attract more farmers, specifically young men and women, to implement regenerative practices, boost sustainable production, and, importantly, create market linkages for their products. The regional products such as almonds, honey, olives, lamb, and wine are of the highest quality and have great potential for sales in hotels, restaurants, and the shops of the region. Additionally, AlVelAl’s coverage area is a landscape of outstanding beauty and unique European cultural heritage, which will see further promotion as a holiday destination through the project.
Rodrigo Sanchez Haro, the Regional Minister of Agriculture, Fishery and Rural Development of Andalusia says: “I give all my support to this initiative that takes advantage of the marriage between our agriculture, tourism, gastronomy and heritage as facilitators of entrepreneurship and increase of value that contribute to keeping our rural world alive.”
Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of TUI Care Foundation: “The vision and estimated impact of this project is nothing but a role model for a sustainable and local value chain, which enhances biodiversity, contributes to the rural standard of living, and is not based on charity but on sustainable businesses. I am excited to see this project flourish in the future”
Between 2018 and 2021, an estimated 2,150 people will be reached by an in-depth awareness campaign about regenerative agriculture, with an expected minimum of 130 farmers turning to regenerative farming by the end of 2019. On top of that, more than 60 chefs of local restaurants will be encouraged to use local organic products for their dishes, advising them on how to innovate and market this new gastronomy, which sustains local livelihoods and surrounding ecosystems.
Moreover, touristic excursions will allow guests to visit the project and learn about the environmental impact of food production. Particularly holidaymakers can make a difference when consuming food in travel destinations. Thus, TUI Care Foundation boosts a decisive approach for the sustainable development of people, planet, and profits.