Small island developing states are faced with a hard fight against high food import bills.
World Food Day 2018 highlights actions that can be taken by all stakeholders in the food system to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2, which calls on the global community to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Accordingly, consumers, governments, private sector, farmers and civil society, are all encouraged to play a role promoting healthier diets and supporting those who produce food.
A growing number of SIDS are choosing to build linkages between agriculture, tourism and cuisine in order to address these challenges. CTA works in collaboration with a wide array of partners in African, Caribbean and Pacific SIDS, including governments, regional institutions, farmers’ organisations, agribusinesses, SMEs, tourism bodies and culinary visionaries, in order to encourage businesses to source locally, promote local foods that are healthier and more nutritious, and attract more women and youth to be involved as entrepreneurs in these sectors. These activities demonstrate the range action that can be taken by different bodies, across diverse fields, in the spirit of WFD2018.
Stimulating demand in the tourism industry for local produce is essential if agriculture in SIDS is to develop, it is important both to support local producers to improve productivity, and support better-integrated supply chains between the tourism and agriculture sectors. This is where policymakers and Public-Private Partnerships can play a critical role to create an enabling environment that favours local sourcing, attracts investment, deploys capacity building to address quality, marketing and production constraints, and creates incentives across both sectors to deepen these linkages.
Chefs: Promoting sustainable linkages between food and farming
Chefs are increasingly being recognised for their potential to contribute towards better food. A growing cohort of chefs and other culinary professionals in ACP countries are working hard to change attitudes towards food and diets, promoting seasonal, locally grown, produce and also reinventing traditional, local cuisine in a manner that makes it more appealing to the masses. According to numerous studies, celebrity chefs are frequently polled as having a greater influence on consumer food choices than does the government.
Recognising the potential for Chefs to be drivers for change, CTA launched Chefs for Development (Chefs4Dev) in partnership with leading Chefs from the Caribbean and Pacific such as Chef Robert Oliver, Chef Stephan Berrouet-Durand and Chef Peter Edey to name a few, and with the support of important national and regional institutions. Chefs4Dev is a platform that promotes stronger linkages between chefs, small-scale producers and value chain actors in Caribbean, Pacific and African countries.
Chef Stephan Berrouet-Durand has worked tirelessly to promote Haitian cuisine, based on local, farm fresh ingredients. He is one of the Co-Founder and President of the Haitian Culinary Alliance and “Gout et Saveurs Lakay”, a Haiti Food & Spirits Festival and has also expanded his reach by working directly with farmers in order to enable them to gain greater access to the hospitality sector. He has done so by developing an app that allows farmers to create a profile so that Chefs can order directly from them. Chef Edey is a longstanding believer in elevating Caribbean cuisine to new gastronomic heights. He focuses on professional training and skills development to enable Caribbean chefs to transform local ingredients into beautiful dishes that are emblematic of the region.
Chef Robert Oliver works with farmer groups, policymakers and the private sector, demonstrating that Pacific cuisine can be at once delicious, healthy and marketable. Using cookbooks, television and other media, he is showcasing Pacific cuisine and Pacific Chefs to both local and international audiences, and in the process, changing the mind-set of a region dominated by imported foods and foreign cuisines.
Producers such as Women in Business Development Samoa (WIBDI) are already taking advantage of this growing interest in authentic local foods by using the Farm to Table mobile app, developed with the support of CTA, to market their produce directly to urban dwellers, tourists and restaurants. This approach has the added value of diversifying the incomes for the farming households who supply WIBDI.
Discover more stories about CTA’s work on Agritourism
Find out more about the Agritourism Policy Setting Workshops
Learn about the WIBDI Farm-To-Table App