Earlier in March, more than 70 people gathered at ITB Berlin's City Cube to discuss sustainable food production and learn more about the impact of TUI Care Foundation's project “Crete - First steps towards a sustainable food destination”. In partnership with Futouris and Local Food Experts, the corporate foundation of the world’s largest tourism business is supporting local communities to produce organic wine and olive oil products on Crete. During the event, participants of the project spoke about the impact of the initiative in their local communities and their personal lives, how it enhanced the understanding of sustainable food production, and the way it increased farmers’ participation in and benefit from the tourism industry. A lively presentation introduced the audience to the positive impacts that locally made and organic products have on farmers, vineries, hotels and the customers.
As a result of the project, which is running since 2017, farmers and vineries reduced their environmental footprint and increased their market share in the Cretan tourism economy. The project stimulated the creation of a community that is committed to sustainable food production, particularly wine and olives, and the promotion of local products in general. Through the hotels as buyers of these local products, tourism drives social and environmental change in Crete. The TUI Care Foundation is proud to support each and every change-maker involved in the project.
Elise Allart, Executive Director for Programmes & Operations, said during the event: “We are trying to link local farmers with local economies, with the businesses in the tourism industry, to enhance local livelihoods and to create positive, authentic experiences for holidaymakers visiting Crete.”
Agapi Sbokou, CEO of Sbokou Hotel Group, adds: “We are really grateful for this project, and we have been supporting it from day one, and keep on supporting it with all our heart”.
The project is part of the TUI CARES programme, which is dedicated to inclusive destination development by supporting community-led business models, and the protection of adestination’s cultural and gastronomic heritage. This way, TUI Care Foundation’s aims to support 10,000 livelihoods by 2020 as part of its wider economic empowerment strategy.