Work in progress
So far, the partnership has implemented 2 meetings: the kick-o meeting took place in Arta, in the LB premises on 16-17/12/2019 and the 2nd was implemented online on 25/02/2021. All partners attended the meetings: Department of Agriculture – University of Ioannina (Lead Partner) and the Hellenic Agricultural Organization – Demeter: Dairy School of Ioannina from Greece and the University “Eqrem Çabej” Gjirokastër & the organization ARGJIRO from Albania. The Project currently focuses on the diagnosis of needs between the CB Dairy Value Chains & Tourism potential, which will lead to the design/ mapping of a joint Cheese Route. Specically regarding the produced cheeses, the relevant specialized analyses made by the Department of Agriculture of the University of Ioannina in collaboration with the Dairy School of Ioannina were presented. The analyses show high quality and distinct categories of milk and cheese products of Epirus (kefalograviera and feta) from specic regions and breeds of sheep and goat, which positively contribute to human health, have special quality characteristics and at the same time, have a low environmental footprint, following the current consumer trends at European level.
The relevant research will deepen even more on the local sheep and goat products that are produced in the cross-border area, so that they form the backbone of the new Cheese Route, which is the desired result of the project for the promotion of the cross-border areas. For further developing the Cheese Route, a useful tool is the mapping through GIS, using regional data for the production of various thematic routes, which is currently in progress. The partnership is going to implement Training Seminars on Agritourism, Cheese Themes, Marketing and Culinary Innovation, with the aim of building capacity in the Cross-Border region on the prospects of the designed Cheese Route. The seminars will be addressed to local stakeholders (producers, SMEs in the tourism sector).