Slower pace – better way of life

Kecskemét Market provides home for SlowFood-CE project

Local Working Group of Kecskemét Municipality, project partner of SlowFood-CE: Culture, Heritage, Identity and Food project, had its first training during mid-April at Kecskemét Market. Concerning the aims and themes of SlowFood-CE, a project financed by the EU program Interreg Central Europe in which Kecskemét Municipality and Kiskunság Convivium are project partners, SlowFood-CE was welcome home at Kecskemét Market.

A three-year project financed by EU and entitled SlowFood-CE: Culture, Heritage, Identity and Food was launched last year, in which five Central European towns take part: Venice, Dubrovnik, Brno, Kecskemét and Krakow.

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.

Slow Food is an extensive organization formed of over 1,500 local chapters and 2,400 food communities worldwide, who play a guiding role for the whole movement which every year involves millions of people. Through projects like the Ark of Taste, the Presidia and the Gardens in Africa and with the mobilization of the Terra Madre network, Slow Food is protecting the food and agricultural heritage of the whole world and promoting farming and food production that respects the environment, human health and the diversity of local cultures.

The cultural heritage connected to food represents a crucial resource for local areas but is often undervalued. By working with communities and promoting local traditions and skills, without losing sight of economic, environmental and social sustainability, it is possible not only to improve knowledge about the wealth of gastronomic heritage, but also to create a new multidisciplinary approach to food that acknowledges the strong bonds between plate, planet and people.

The official training of LWG Kecskemét took place during mid-April at Kecskemét Market. One of the main tasks and missions of LWG members is to build a strategy and common methodology for the promotion and valorisation of cultural resources connected to food heritage. They intend to create a transferable model that can give traditional foods their true value, through knowledge of their producers, plant varieties, animal breeds, traditional processing techniques, folklore, cultural landscape, and enhance the common food heritage of Central Europe, leading to a new alliance between five cities: Venice, Dubrovnik, Brno, Kecskemét and Krakow.

Besides promoting the healthy local products Kecskemét Municipality aims to present its gastro culture and ways to transfer old traditions to younger generations. The next important dates will be Terra Madre Salone del Gusto (Turin, September 20-24, 2018). This international event will provide an opportunity to present the five pilot actions for promoting cultural heritage that the cities have chosen to put into practice following the mapping work.

It will also offer a chance to share good practices of cultural heritage promotion in urban spaces and to meet with representatives from European and regional institutions to talk about the project’s initial results and to look forward to the next planned activities. These include the integration of gastronomic cultural heritage within relevant policies in the urban sector (culture, trade, education, economic and rural development, environment) and hence the development of new policies at all levels of government.

On behalf of Kecskemét Municipality the project is represented by Mr József Gaál deputy-mayor, while project partner Kiskunság Convivium is represented by Mrs Olga Rendek. Professionl Management is delivered by Ms Andrea Kolek, director of Kecskemét Market.

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