It’s official. After a mammoth effort by Launceston Gastronomy and the Creative Cities Steering Group, Launceston has successfully bid to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Launceston will be one of 49 cities joining the global network. This is a pivotal moment for Launceston and a significant step up to the plate as one of the great regional cities of the world!
In the official media release issued by Launceston Gastronomy yesterday, Mayor Albert van Zetten said the project would cement Launceston’s identity as an internationally recognised region for food and beverage production. “The UNESCO brand is recognised worldwide and is a marker of the very highest quality,” Mayor van Zetten said.
Over many years, Northern Tasmanian has consistently demonstrated expertise in the development of agriculture, food processing, wine and beverage production, tourism and agritourism. Now that we have been recognised and listed as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, it will contribute positively to our regional economy and create new jobs in food-related industries and activities over the coming years. In addition, it formalises Launceston’s identity as one of the world’s great regional food cities.
The media release also stated that The City of Launceston will contribute $25,000 towards the implementation of Creative Cities related projects. Six other Northern councils have also collectively committed more than $28,000, including Break O’Day, Dorset, George Town, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and West Tamar.
The Chamber is and has been a strong supporter of the UNESCO Creative Cities bid for a number of reasons:
- It helps connect Northern Tasmania to the world via food.
- It places Launceston as one of the great regional food cities of the world.
- It provides a platform for food sustainability in a mixed agricultural and urban context.
- It creates an interplay between local agriculture in our Tamar Valley backyard; Agriscience that combines the best of agriculture teamed up with start-up and established technologists, hospitality that thrives with the abundance of local produce and destination tourism that underpins a vibrant visitor economy – all hallmarks of a growing and thriving city.
Launceston Gastronomy Chair (and Chamber President), Andrew Pitt, said of the announcement; City of Gastronomy status will become what Launceston and Northern Tasmania is recognised for nationally and globally. For some time, we have been lacking a cohesive, accessible and intuitive identity for our city. Now we have one. The activities and projects that underpin the bid will de-silo our food system from paddock to plate, adding value, providing jobs and careers, improving social outcomes, and helping to implement the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It’s all about local action with global collaboration.
We at the Chamber wish to congratulate Launceston Gastronomy and the Creative Cities Steering Group and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Depending on when you’re reading this, please raise your glass (or other drinking vessel) and join us as we toast Launceston, international city of Gastronomy!