7 July 2017

Extensive Project on sustainable food and agriculture launched on Crete

  • TUI Care Foundation is supporting long-term improvement in the quality of food and strengthening of the local economy
  • Launch workshop with over 80 local wine-growers and olive-farmers as well as numerous hotel partners

With the opening of the "Local Food Workshop", an extensive project for sustainable food and ecological agriculture on Crete has now been launched. Stavros Arnaoutakis, Governor of Crete, Thomas Ellerbeck Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation, Michael Mavropoulos, Regional Director East Mediterranean of TUI Destination Services, as well as Angeliki Chondromatidou, Chief Consultant of the Greek Tourism Ministry, welcomed more than 80 local wine-growers, olive-growers as well as representatives of different hotel groups, two winery and an olive mill at the TUI Sensatori Resort Crete by Atlantica (Atlantica Caldera Palace ) near Heraklion. The objective of the joint project on Crete is to link the island's most important economic factors – tourism and agriculture. To this end, the TUI Care Foundation, Futouris and the local agricultural consultancy The Local Food Experts, link local agricultural producers with the local tourism sector, helping to turn the Greek island into a showpiece for sustainable food on holiday. The project is supported by the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the regional government of Crete.

"The project shows how great the potential of tourism is for local value creation and employment in the holiday country. In order that everyone benefits from this – guests, local businesses and the local population – a close networking of the economy, agriculture and the tourism sector is important. We need to develop a common understanding of what guests value when visiting a holiday destination. And in the tourism industry we need to promote the fact that we are open to local products, influences and experiences. We are bringing this together in our project for sustainable agriculture and sustainable holidays in Crete", according to Thomas Ellerbeck.

The focus of the project is on the two main products of Crete – wine and olive oil – and ecological cultivation and processing methods. In addition, seven traditional Cretan vines are particularly promoted by the production of local wines. Bart Lyrarakis, managing director of the Lyrarakis vineyard on Crete, emphasizes the importance of the project for the preservation of local wine varieties. His vineyard was already involved in the pilot phase "Sustainable Viticulture", which was implemented in 2016, in which sustainable cultivation practices were implemented in collaboration with the local wine-growers.

In order to allow visitors to visit local production sites and have direct contacts with the wine and olive-growers, an innovative and interactive excursion program is being developed. Awareness and communication measures accompany the project.

In the long term, the aim is to improve regional food quality and quantity in holiday hotels, to reduce the negative environmental impacts of agriculture and to strengthen the local economy. In addition, guests will benefit from an expanded regional menu in hotels and on excursions.

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Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the TUI Care Foundation supports and initiates partnerships and projects which create new opportunities for the young generation and contribute to thriving destinations all over the world. Connecting holidaymakers to good causes, the TUI Care Foundation fosters education and welfare of children and youth, the protection of nature and the environment and sustainable tourism in destinations worldwide. TUI Care Foundation works global and acts local – it builds on strong partnerships with local and international organisations to create meaningful and long lasting impact. The charitable foundation values transparency and the efficient use of funds. Therefore 100% of the donations go to partners and projects with all operating costs of the foundation covered by TUI. TUI Care Foundation was founded by TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, and is based in the Netherlands.