Traditional agricultural products and food are essential for sustainable local development in the Black Sea region. On the one hand, rural areas can offer a wide variety of traditional products with specific characteristics. On the other hand, the demand for quality and local food in urban communities is constantly increasing. Many small towns keep and pass on unique recipes for generations, but they do not reach the market and very few people outside the community can enjoy them. Culinary traditions are part of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Black Sea basin and create a market niche that is still not well used.
In this context project „Local Development and Cross Border Cooperation in the area of Agricultural Products and Traditional Food” (LOC FOOD) is being implemented. It aims to promote locally produced food with exceptional taste and quality, thus stimulating local economies to preserve and save their traditions. Its long-term goal is to support sustainable economic and social development in the rural areas of the Black Sea basin, to intensify cross-border cooperation in this area and to draw attention once again to the need to conserve biodiversity.
LOC FOOD is a joint initiative of Ministry of Interior of the Hellenic Republic (lead partner), Varna University of Management (Bulgaria), Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki (Greece), Dunărea de Jos University (Romania), Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies (Ukraine) and Association of Tourism Development in Moldova.
The main results of the project activities include:
- preparation of national reports on the challenges and opportunities for sustainable commercialization of traditional agricultural products and food in the Black Sea basin,
- creation of an online database of producers of traditional products and foods,
- development of unified standards for promotion and marketing tools,
- regional network and initiatives for cross-border cooperation.
The project is implemented with the support of the Black Sea Basin 2014-2020 program (joint operational program for cross-border cooperation funded by the European Neighborhood Instrument).