On the fringe of Austria's biggest gourmet festival, Federal Minister Elisabeth-Köstinger presented the Culinary Strategy Austria in Vienna. The goal of this strategy is to make products and services from Austrian regions even more widely known and popular, thereby strengthening the value added in the regions.
Austria offers a culinary variety that is equalled by hardly any other country. From Montafon to Lake Neusiedlersee, every region sets great store by its typical specialities and the people behind their products. Austrian consumers cherish the regional and sustainable production of domestic quality products.
To capitalise on the trend for regional food, a prodigious number of culinary initiatives were launched at regional and provincial level – with the aim of promoting and strengthening Austria's culinary offerings. However, an enormous synergy potential remained unused because many of these initiatives work in isolation.
The NETWORK FOR REGIONAL AND CULINARY INITIATIVES
Against this backdrop, the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism has launched the Culinary Network as a platform for networking and synergy building.
"Together, we can achieve a great deal. That's why we are rallying together all the culinary initiatives, of which there are currently more than 100. One out of three farming enterprises, in other words some 46,000 farmers, are direct marketers. We offer them a roof to gather under and grow strong,' explains Köstinger.
The platform aims to bring together all culinary and regional initiatives in Austria and align them into a common direction. Christina Mutenthaler, who heads the Culinary Network, wants to start down a new path with Austrian culinary players.
'We're making a fresh start. This means combining all the strengths, because that's the only way culinary enterprise will be able to succeed in Austria. What I found important was to create a sound foundation for culinary initiatives in Austria. The Austrian Court of Auditors issued recommendations, which we have now implemented,' said Agriculture Minister Elisabeth Köstinger as she explained the fresh start with satisfaction.
The mission is: 'From the region. For the region. Into the world.'
'We want to position Austria as "THE culinary destination in Europe!" A consistent, voluntary quality and traceability system for direct marketers, manufacturers and restaurants along with a joint marketing and sales strategy will provide the starting point. The regional origin and high quality of our domestic products create a tangible and sustainable value added for farmers but also for the tourism sector and retail. We must give priority to Austrian quality production,' says Köstinger with a smile.
The key to success is close collaboration along the value chain.
The newly presented strategy charts a fresh path. In its strategy, the Culinary Network builds on the many different culinary initiatives and projects in the regions. Networking adds value for all stakeholders in the value chain. It provides a clear sense of orientation and ensures identification with successful regional quality products.