Set up of the “Agrοnutritional cooperation of Region of Crete” which is a specialized body and constitutes the main tool for implementing the strategic plan.
The Cretan Government has realized that it has to develop concrete synergies between the public and private sector in order to support the local SMEs and at the same time, preserve the traditions of the Cretan Gastronomy and food products. So aligned with the initiatives of the business sector, the “Agrοnutritional cooperation of Region of Crete” has been set up in 2012. It is a specialized body and constitutes the main tool for implementing the strategic plan for the development and upgrading of the food industry on the island.
Apart from the main partner which is the Region of Crete, in the company participate private companies operating in food industry of Crete, chambers, groups of producers and associations of agricultural cooperatives.
The next step was to establish the Cretan Gastronomy Center along with the Region of Crete (since 2013) where the visitor can join:
1. Educational and experiential programs
2. Exhibitions & Cooking shows
3. Gastronomic routes and tourist trips
The Gastronomic Center is a successful project which connects the primary sector to tourism and promotes Cretan Gastronomy as well. In addition, the Agronutritional Cooperation has introduced the certification process of the following LABELS:
•“Crete” for certified products
•“Cretan Cuisine” for certified Restaurants
•“Cretan Grocery” Stores for certified retail shops around Greece
Μain stakeholders are:local SMEs,chambers,groups of producers&associations of agricultural producers etc.
Funding comes from the Agronutritional Cooperation’s own resources with its members contribution. The permanent staff are five employees.
Also,Cretan Gastronomy Center was co-financed in the framework of the INTERREG IV GREECE-CYPRUS 2007-2013:GEYSIS TOUR and national funds as well.
Evidence of success
The success of Agrοnutritional cooperation of Region of Crete:
a) is reflected in its memberships, which are becoming more and more every year.Members show high interest in participating in local competitions for Cretan products such as Cretan olive oil etc and in national and international exhibitions.
b) has established 3 certifications of the labels: “Crete” for certified products, “Cretan Cuisine” Restaurants, “Cretan Grocery” Stores. These labels work also as brand names. et al.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Agronutritional sector has a great potential to boost the tourism industry of a region. The reason is that the local foods and products are part of our culture. Hence, it is vital that every region should support its primary sector, producers and associations in order to preserve their traditions and cultural assets.
As a result, the Agronutritional Cooperation is a great initiative which is able to boost a region to become an international gastronomic destination. Thus, the benefits are both for the local SMEs development and the protection of our values, history and natural assets of our lands.
The classification of a business or products and their certification with quality standards is a feasible way to enhance the quality of the local products and services and quality tourism offer as well.
The Cretan Gastronomy Center attracts thousands of tourists since its establishment and helps to connect the primary sector with the local tourism industry.