Silver Partner of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, the EU-financed project COVCHEG (Community-based Value Chain Enhancement in the Greater Caucasus Mountains area) valorizes local gastronomy and cultural heritage, aiming to foster economic regeneration and the well-being of rural communities in Azerbaijan.
The pilot area includes five mountains districts in the north-west: Shamakhi, Ismaili, Gabala, Shaki and Qakh.
In these territories the project implies two main intervention sectors, agriculture and gastronomic tourism. The main project activities are:
Project activities will not only advance knowledge and skills of beneficiaries but will result in specific food chain development model and tourism products and practices of the pilot districts, and, in overall, will serve as model for further multiplication nation-widely. In longer term it will positively influence the state of natural resources and social environment, decrease levels of unemployment and out-migration as well as strengthen resilience of the territories.
In February-March 2021, in the framework of the COVCHEG project, a training course on Slow Food Education was held with a presentation of new educational materials, now available to everyone:
More than 220 participants from 17 countries and all continents: Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, France, Colombia, Egypt, Burkina Faso and others took part in the course sessions. In the recordings, trainings viewed more than 250 spectators.
The first training webinar “Let’s educate the senses to biodiversity” introduced the participants with the importance of the concept of biodiversity and how to teach it in school, with didactic and teaching examples. Experts provided practical examples and presented “Ark taste goes to school” an educational material designed to help children discover local food and make specific steps to protect biodiversity.
The second training webinar “Overview of Slow Food educational projects” presented over 20 years of experience accumulated by Slow Food in implementing educational projects in a wide variety of fields to familiarize participants with both didactic approached and the experience of colleagues in the implementation of certain educational methods of Slow Food. A new manual on sensory education and responsible consumption “Tasty Lessons” has been shared.
In the handbook of sensory education and responsible consumption “Tasty lessons” Slow Food tried to collect all its experience in food education of the last decade. – It’s Victoria Smelkova, one of the editors of the “Tasty Lessons”, to explain – However, we can not delude ourselves that the “Tasty lessons” alone can solve all the problems related to food and health, on personal and planetary level. Nevertheless, it provides a solid foundation on which the good, clean and fair approach to the food systems can be built, starting from the early school years, that will inevitably change the food habits and help us to raise a responsible and thoughtful consumer.
The third training webinar “Sensory education” was dedicated entirely to sensory education and in particular to the functioning of the senses and the important role they play in the knowledge of food and biodiversity. Experts shared the grammar of taste, how to organize a sensory education activity, and set some practical examples to replicate.
Forum Terra Madre “Slow Food gardens: guidelines for an international project” presented one of the oldest Slow Food education projects resulted in thousands of gardens across the world, and which can be a key element in food and environmental education everywhere. The coordinators of Slow Food gardens discussed their progress, what they have in common and where they differ in their struggle for good, healthy, and environmentally-friendly food education.