Launceston designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy

Published on 12 November 2021


Launceston and Northern Tasmania has successfully bid to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy- joining 48 other cities in the global network.

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

Chair of the Creative Cities Steering Group, Andrew Pitt, said, “It’s wonderful to have UNESCO’s endorsement of our vision for Northern Tasmania as one of the world’s great food regions!”

“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.”

Launceston 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 bid to be recognised as a City of Gastronomy was developed by the Creative Cities Steering Group, whose members represent industry, community, local government, educational and regional organisations. The bid was enabled by funding from the University of Tasmania and the Great Regional City Challenge and plenty of work from organisations such as FermenTasmania.

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.

Meander Valley Mayor and local farmer Wayne Johnston said, “Meander Valley has been a food bowl for a long time now, and we are seeing more new, small businesses that do amazing things with locally-produced food and drink. We’re excited to become part of the Creative Cities Network, and we look forward to the local projects and global collaborations that will lead to positive change on the ground in Meander Valley and across the region.”

The projects and activities will be delivered through Launceston Gastronomy and a newly formed not-for-profit entity, Tasmanian Agrifood Network Ltd.

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