CheeseCulT: Boosting the local economy

CheeseCult focuses on the interlinkage between agri-food and tourism sector, using local cheese & culinary tradition for boosting local economy through the increase of tourists in the CB area. The project is implemented under the Interreg IPA II CBC Greece-Albania Programme 2014-2020, and is co-funded by European Union and National Funds of Greece and Albania. The Project’s Lead Beneficiary is the University of Ioannina – Special Account for Research Funds/ Department of Agriculture. CheeseCulT also includes two Albanian partners, Argjiro and the University “EQREM ÇABEJ” Gjirokaster and one partner from Greece, Hellenic Agricultural Organization – Demeter.

The gastronomic potential, a driving force for rural tourism development

In a region of abundant natural resources, numerous examples of cultural & historic heritage, as well as vibrant folklore, the tourism industry has yet to become a major development driver. CheeseCulT presents a unique opportunity for sustainable tourism and new development models for the cross-border area, considering that livestock herding and the production of dairy products, most notably cheese, milk and yogurt, are an integral part of local culture and culinary tradition.

Expected Results

  • Preservation of local dairy culinary tradition/ product quality and stimulation of innovation on cheese production
  • Sustainable tourism development by creating a new cultural tourism product based on Cheese
  • Market uptake & stronger involvement of SMEs (especially in cheese products)
  • Introduction of the brand “CB Cheese route”
  • Networking of local producers / stakeholders in cultural/ tourism sector in the area

Our approach

  • Establishment of a traditional Cheese Route in CB area for raising gastronomic potential as a driving force for rural tourism development
  • Capacity building on cheese route agritourism through jointly developed training activities for local stakeholders on both countries.
  • Creation of Cheese Exhibition Centres in Gjirokastrer and Ioannina
  • Organizing of Pilot Exhibition Visits for Stakeholders through the CB Cheese Route
  • Publication of a Joint Cheese e-Cookbook
  • Development of Cheese Agri – tourism network