25 July 2018

A toast to the future

TUI Care Foundation’s project in Lanzarote finds new ways to make traditional winemaking fit for the future and create jobs for local people with disabilities.

In cooperation with Futouris, a German non-profit organisation focused on sustainable tourism, TUI Care Foundation supports an initiative aiming to preserve the traditional wine production technologies of the La Geria region. As part of the “TUI Cares” project, people with disabilities will find job prospects and work together with wine farmers on their lands. Furthermore, a new network will be created, designed to help local farmers to get access to the tourism industry on the island. It will link their products and services to the tourism value chain and, through this, help local vineyards to build a sustainable business model. The initiative was originally started in 2015 as a financial support scheme for traditional vineyards on Lanzarote. In cooperation with local partners, the focus of the project was expanded to safeguard traditional wine production technologies into the future.

TUI Care Foundation builds on the strengths of the traditional wine-making industry and supports the implementation of training and individual guidance in organic farming methods. Farmers are being empowered through the development of new distribution channels to hotels and restaurants, with a view to making traditional wine-growing more attractive and productive. Hotel employees, on the other hand, are being trained in local wine growing history and on how to introduce organic wines to their guests in order to encourage the consumption of local products among visitors. Finally, holidaymakers will be offered opportunities to become familiar with the destination’s traditions and locally grown products, through interactive excursions to the vineyards and special events held at the hotels.

During his visit to the project in July Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation, explained: “This initiative combines environmental, social and cultural aspects of sustainability in a very special way: Highly motivated local people with disabilities find new perspectives to make their living while securing the unique cultivation technique in La Geria. With state of the art practices for organic and sustainable winegrowing, the initiative makes the century-old tradition fit for the future and helps to protect the natural environment of Lanzarote. And, together with the local farmers, an authentic experience for visitors is created.”