Tasteful East-Flanders

  1. GP owner contact information

Organisation in charge of the good practice

Country

Belgium

Region

East-Flanders

City

Ghent

Organisation name

Economic Council of East-Flanders

Is your organisation the main institution in charge of this good practice?

YES

  1. Good Practice description
    • Introduction (a short overview of the GP)

Good practice general information

Title of the practice [100 characters]

Tasteful East-Flanders: promoting local gastronomy

Does the practice come from an Interreg Europe project?

NO

Thematic objective of the practice

SME Competitiveness

Geographical scope of the good practice

Local

  • Detailed information on the GP

 

Good practice detailed information

Short summary of the practice [160 characters]

Tasteful East-Flanders is an initiative of the Economic Council of East Flanders and the Province of East Flanders, in collaboration with Tourism East Flanders. Together with 207 regional and farm producers, local products from East Flanders are promoted.

Detailed information on the practice [5000 characters]

Tasteful East-Flanders is based on 4 pillars:

1.     Professionalisation and new management techniques

There’s a focus on knowledge sharing through training, conferences and inspiration sessions. Products can also be acknowledged as Flemish or European regional products. Together with academic partners, research into new trends is being conducted.

2.     Promotion of regional products

The Butcher’s Hall is the promotion centre for regional products in Ghent. It is an initiative of ECEF with the support of the Province of East Flanders. The Butcher’s Hall has a restaurant and a (online) shop.

Furthermore, regional products are promoted on markets and fairs, and there’s a Tasteful East-Flanders food truck. Recipes are being developed to provide inspiration to get started with the products. There are featured programs for the sectors of jenever, wine and beer.

3.     Sales & Distribution

The sale of regional products is supported by communication and promotion towards institutional kitchens, hotel schools and regional stores. Furthermore, Tasteful East-Flanders ambassadors are appointed. These are people who actively promote regional products in their businesses: restaurants, bars, bed & breakfasts…

3 cooperatives provide a system for the sale and distribution of regional products. The different cooperatives unite numerous farm and regional producers from the region.

4.     Experience & Tourism

There’s a focus on tourist valorisation e.g. Tasteful East-Flanders tours. Furthermore, there’s a program to raise awareness for regional products with primary school children (visits to producers, farms…)

 

Resources needed [300 characters]

Human resources: staff in the promotion centre (Butcher’s Hall) and marketing & administration team.

Financial resources: 138.860,00 EUR in 2020

 

Timescale (start/end date)

2015 –  Ongoing

 

Evidence of success (results achieved) [500 characters]

–       Regarding the Butcher’s Hall: we measure the financial results (turnover) but also impact and imagebuilding (reviews on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Tripadvisor etc.)

–       Each year more than 80.000 people consume in the Butcher’s Hall. The annual turnover is more than 1.000.000 euro (pre-Covid19). Consumer surveys show us that the visitors are really enthusiastic about the local products.

–         website https://www.lekkeroostvlaams.be/

–       More than 250 producers are part of the Tasteful East-Flanders network.

–        

–       24 Tasteful East-Flanders ambassadors

–      

Difficulties encountered / lessons learned [600 characters]

Personal contact with the producers is very important to make this kind of platform work. Many producers remain ‘passive’ members of this platform, the ‘active’ ones are usually a smaller group.

For producers, sales take precedence. They are grateful that they are promoted (cheaply or for free). A financial contribution to participate in activities or events is often a barrier for them. 

Potential for learning or transfer [1000 characters]

As a public government institution, the main asset is ‘neutrality’. With a non-profit attitude, you can bring together different producers. In that way, there is promotion made for all the local food products in a region, with a big impact on the positive image of the local food sector and gastronomy.

As the Tasteful East-Flanders platform consists of many different parts, there’s potential for the other project partners to ‘cherry-pick’: select those policies which fit best for their specific region and/ or producers.

Further information

https://www.lekkeroostvlaams.be/ (website in Dutch only)

www.grootvleeshuis.be

 

Keywords related to your practice

regional products, regional food promotion