Chefs – drivers of sustainable islands’ growth

Chefs – drivers of sustainable islands’ growth


Chefs are becoming drivers of change in Small Island Developing States (SIDs).

By using local ingredients in creative recipes, they are boosting production of locally-grown produce improving the population’s well-being and increasing opportunities for sustainable tourism – the lifeblood of many of the islands.

A seminar in Brussels seminar in September, “Agribusiness development in SIDs: the potential of tourism-related markets,” brought together chefs from the Pacific and the Caribbean with policy-influencers.

Organised the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, the European Commission’s Devco, the Centre for Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and NGO platform CONCORD, it drew attention to the negative impact on national budgets and health of the consumption of cheap, highly-processed, low-nutrition foodstuffs.

Pacific chef, Robert Oliver, of the ‘Chefs for Development’ initiative, said at the event: “I want to look at a plate of food that goes with a view – an approach that goes beyond the plate and beyond the recipe. It’s an approach that is designed to empower chefs and stimulate economies to reclaim tradition and health – and I call this the power of cuisine.”

“In tourism-led economies, menus are the business plan of a nation – where the cuisine goes, agriculture will follow, and if a country can recognise this, everybody wins,” he said.

Haitian chef, Stephan Berrouet Durand, is executive chef of Culinary by Design, an organisation that is promoting local gastronomy and the relationship between agriculture and chefs. Chef Stephan is now part of an exciting new development to link chefs with local farmers using a mobile app.

He explained that this app gives rapid information on the availability of produce from local farmers to the local hospitality industry: “These are the products that we have, this is how much we produce, and this is how you’re going to be able to purchase with us.”

Policy-makers should also do more to create stronger links between local farming in the SIDs and tourism. Vanuatu is progressing towards becoming the first Pacific island country with an agri-tourism policy.





Pacific sustainable development agriculture good practice news europeanunion-en
Boosting organic farming in islands

Boosting organic farming in islands


There is a lot potential to develop organic farming in the OCTs to bring about more sustainable growth. It is good for the environment, promotes the stewardship of future generations of farmers over their land, it adds value to products, boosts the tourism industry and brings health benefits to society.

Many entities are involved in the organic farming value chain. Farmers, transport providers, local chefs, hotels, policy-makers, the media and the ICT industry all have roles to play.

A ‘farm-to-table’ programme set up by the Women in Business Development, a Samoa-based non-governmental organisation, has been at the centre of the movement towards organic agriculture in the Pacific island state and says other small island states can draw on its success.

Likewise, to develop eco-tourism and innovation in tourism-related culinary excellence, “from tree to plate,” in 2010, the European Union co-financed an innovative local culinary initiative for the H.L. Stott Community College Culinary School Center in Paraquita Bay, Tortola.

The Samoa model covers all fronts. It helps farmers achieve organic production and certification and acts as a conduit for sourcing markets for products. Around 60 per cent of organic farms on the Pacific island are now certified organic. It assists farmers with the delivery of organic produce baskets and in meeting consumer demand for high-end, socially conscious, environmentally-friendly products such as organic virgin coconut oil, coffee and dried bananas.

The programme understands the grading system necessary for consistent quality and quantity. It is building supply links between farmers and hoteliers and is using television to build public confidence in recipes based on locally-grown food prepared by local chefs. For tourists, it means a better experience of Samoan culture.

Organic certification opens up niche, international markets, bringing greater potential for income-generation. The way forward is for the whole nation to go organic in the next 10 years.

Regular evaluation of the farm-to-table programme are a vital part of the model. On a weekly basis, there should be assessments of the number of crops ordered, by which restaurants, problems encountered and how these were dealt with.

The next step is focusing on bringing more farmers on board, increasing delivery days and improving transport systems, such as a refrigerated truck for pick-ups. Another step is to explore greater such as mobile phone apps, including a farm bank app through which farmers can check their bank balance and their year-to-date earnings.

Find out more




island small islands agriculture sustainable growth good practice news europeanunion-en
Smart cities – learning from others

Smart cities – learning from others


Developers of innovation projects to create smart cities and communities can join an EU-wide community to share and learn.

OCT communities implementing such initiatives can sign up to the EU’s Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) to inform others about their projects and exchange experiences with others.

The SCIS is also a space to promote project ideas to developers and find partnering opportunities with other smart communities, project developers, institutions and industry across Europe.

This EU-sponsored online source gives access to best practices in specific areas such as energy efficient buildings, geothermal communities, sustainable energy planning, low carbon cities and zero–energy neighbourhoods.

It also provides information about barriers to innovation and recommendations to policy makers to bring about Smart communities.

Access to SCIS










EU programme good practice news europeanunion-en EU Innovation
The European Innovation Scoreboard and Regional Innovation Scoreboard published

The European Innovation Scoreboard and Regional Innovation Scoreboard published

Sweden is once more the EU innovation leader, followed by Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands. The fastest growing innovators are Latvia, Malta, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the UK.

Germany is again the leading investor in science R&D, followed by Estonia, while Belgium’s innovation system gets top marks for the frequency of joint activities between companies and public sector labs.

innovation network EU programme news European Commission Brussels events europeanunion-en
OCTA Innovation Issue 3 / 2016 – EU News

OCTA Innovation Issue 3 / 2016 – EU News

EU has the global lead in excellence and quality of fundamental research. Innovation is the wind in the sails of EU economy and sustainability, and EU maintains research and innovation as the priority. Innovation and creativity in the EU is a result of excellence in triple helix, science, education and business. Further impetus to innovation is given with establishment on European Innovation Council.

Read newsletter.

europeanunion-en newsletter-en