UNESCO City of Gastronomy bid on menu for Launceston

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The City of Launceston will consider nominating greater Launceston as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy at its meeting next week.

The Launceston Creative Cities Steering Group — whose members comprise representatives from business, community, local government, educational and regional organisations — has been developing Launceston’s bid as a City of Gastronomy under UNESCO’s Creative Cities program.

Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to strengthen cooperation among cities and help guide economic, social, cultural and environmentally sustainable development.

The program requires each bid to be endorsed and submitted by a relevant local government authority and the steering group has been supported by the Break O’Day, Dorset, George Town, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and West Tamar Councils.

Should the City of Launceston support the proposal, it would contribute $25,000 in funding to the plan, and the steering group would seek a State Government contribution as well as cluster funding from Food Innovation Australia Limited.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the project sought to cement Launceston’s identity as an internationally recognised region for food and beverage production.

“The UNESCO brand is one that is recognised the world over and is a marker of high quality,” Mayor van Zetten said.

“Over many years, the Northern Tasmanian region has consistently demonstrated its expertise and skill in the development of our agriculture, food processing, wine and beverage production, tourism and agri-tourism sectors.

“The two seem like a natural fit and, should Launceston support the bid, becoming a world recognised UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy is likely to contribute to our regional economy and create new jobs in food-related industries and activities over coming years.

“As someone who loves Northern Tasmanian food, wine and produce, I’m very much looking forward to hearing the discussion around the table when the item comes before the Council next week.”

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