On October 11, partners and supporters of the project "A Sustainable Future for La Geria" met in the historic Monumento al Campesino for the project’s official launch. The Monumento al Campesino, which is in the very center of the island, is a monument once built for the men and women working in the fields of Lanzarote, who made the land arable again after a massive volcanic eruption in the 17th century. The vision of sustainable and traditional winemaking for local markets, particularly markets in the tourism industry, is inspiring many people on the island.
TUI Care Foundation in cooperation with Futouris, the German industry initiative for sustainable tourism, aims to preserve the traditional ways of winegrowing in the region of La Geria, enable income opportunities for people with special needs, and create market linkages for the wineries to the tourism economy. Through the project, farmers, winemakers, local initiatives, TUI Destination Experience, hotel executives, and authorities create a platform for the sustainable development of the island, which boosts the local ecological wine value chain.
Currently, 15 farmers with 20 fields are part of the project, committing to the traditional ways of winemaking. Ms. Ascensión Robayna, a local winemaker, summarized the meaning of the project by saying that: "The only way to preserve the future of our biosphere reserve is to grow wine ecologically”. Several executives of local hotels listened closely and exchanged perspectives on the potential of organic wines in their restaurants. At least three hotels will have staff trained on ecological winemaking, which enables them to pass on the philosophy to hotel guests more proficiently. In turn, through excursion, holidaymakers can visit the farmers to learn and understand more about ecological winemaking and the great impact of local consumption.
Both the island's president, Pedro San Ginés, and the regional Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Isaac Castellano, attended the event and expressed their distinct support. Pedro San Ginés emphasized the importance of agriculture and its rich history on the island. Jost Neumann, representative of the TUI Care Foundation, highlighted Lanzarote as a destination, where the people and nature have created a unique landscape, and where the tourism industry is in a great position to contribute to the sustainable development of the island. During the event, several additional hotels expressed interest to join the project, which is expected to run until 2021.