Slow Food is launching the Ark of Taste contest in Azerbaijan within the EU funded project COVCHEG

The prize will be awarded to those who will be most active in informing the Slow Food of the best products at risk of extinction.

In the framework of EU funded project COVCHEG, Slow Food, in partnership with the Animal Protection Public Union and the National Association of Rural Municipalities of Azerbaijan as co-applicants and State Tourism Agency of Azerbaijan and PASHA-Travel Agency as associated partners, has launched the Ark of Taste national contest in Azerbaijan.

It is a huge social online communication that will ask people living in Azerbaijan to nominate for entry in the Slow Food Ark of Taste catalog food products that belong to the culture, history, and traditions of their respective local areas. The contest will last until the 31st of March 2020.

The participants are asked to collect information about a product, take a picture of it and then fill out the online form. The one who nominates the best product will fly to Italy at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020, the world’s most important event dedicated to good, clean and fair food. It has been held in Turin, every two years since 2004.

The aim is to raise public awareness of the importance of preserving and promoting food-biodiversity and encouraging citizens to become acquainted with their food heritage, the productive context underpinning the products in question, and the important role played by producers as custodians of such an inestimable treasure.  

The Ark of Taste contest is part of the EU funded project COVCHEG that started in September 2018 and, in a timeframe of 3 years, wants to enhance a sustainable local food chain capable of increasing revenue for small-scale producers; to promote rural tourism as an additional source of revenue to build resilience in rural communities, and to improve linkages between viable rural communities and resilient local food systems. The contest is one of the activities aimed at raising awareness among citizens about the impact of their daily food choices.

The local dimension of food products, based on a strong relationship to a particular territory and the culture of a rural community, is central to agrobiodiversity mapping of the territory carried out according to the Slow Food vision.

In the last year, a preliminary list of products was developed based on literature reviews and interviews with relevant stakeholders. The next step was to develop an inventory of products with characteristics that strongly link them to the pilot areas, some of these are already inserted in the Ark of Taste catalog detailed described in the datasheet that summarizes all of the information gathered.