The first Staff Exchange Event was hosted successfully under project NICHE by Region of Crete, from 19th to 21st of February 2017, with the participation of project partners and stakeholders from Estonia and Ireland.
Two good practices of Region of Crete were presented during the staff exchange event, namely: the Agro nutritional Cooperation of Region Crete and the Winemakers Network of Heraklion-Crete (Wines of Crete). These two good practices were considered as particularly interesting and hence were chosen to be studied further by the partners from Estonia and Ireland. Their visit was combined perfectly with the annual wine exhibition OiNotika 2017 organized by the Winemakers Network - Wines of Crete, held in Heraklion, Crete.Mr. Nicos Miliarakis, president of the Wines of Crete Network, presented the good practice of the Network and Mrs. Argiro Stavrakaki employee of Agro nutritional Cooperation of Region Crete presented the procedures for a company to get the label "crete", "cretan cuisine" or "cretan grocery store", offering at the same time the attendees some indicative labeled products. Guests from Estonia and Ireland, along with stakeholders from Region of Crete, had the opportunity to be guided to the various thematic actions of OiNotika 2017.
During the last day of the staff exchange event, the attendees had the chance to be guided around two representative, different sized wineries in Heraklion area. If the main results of this event have to be mentioned briefly, that could be the first hand sharing of the good practices of Region of Crete with other NICHE partners, in order for them to be able to acknowledge the procedures and take back home valuable information which will help them adapt these good practices to the specific needs of their region in order to increase the level of innovation in the food sector. The staff exchange event in Crete also helped establishing the innovative “ecosystems” at interregional level, foreseen in NICHE project, bringing together stakeholders from different European regions to facilitate the exchange of technology and knowledge. These ecosystems, which will be further and continuously developed with the help of each staff exchange event to come, are to be maintained after the completion of NICHE project, so that participants will continue to benefit through this cooperation network.