On the 11th of October, a few dozen producers, processors and representatives of educational institutions took part in an interregional workshop entitled “Liewensmëttelpunkt goes Minett UNESCO Biosphere”.
This interregional workshop, which focused on promoting a sustainable food system, was organised as part of the Nordstad “Liewensmëttelpunkt” project. This project works along 5 strategic axes, including education and awareness-raising, support for production, marketing and logistics, exchange of practices and the learning spiral, innovation and training, and territorial marketing. This initiative is part of the Nordstad Territorial Vision, which aims to respond to global and local challenges and seeks to forge regional links in the various areas mentioned above.
The event, organised in close collaboration by the Syndicat intercommunal Nordstad and the Syndicat intercommunal PRO-SUD, which manages the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, gave participants the opportunity to visit regional “best practice” projects such as “Minetter Schof“, an initiative combining nature conservation and quality meat production, and “Eis Epicerie” in Soleuvre, a grocery store offering organic products at affordable prices. The day’s discussions, enriched by the testimonies and discussions between the participants, highlighted the importance of working together to promote local products from Luxembourg.
Supporting local production
The transition of the food system towards a more sustainable system is considered a necessity at global level, both for the Minett UNESCO Biosphere and for the Nordstad, in order to respond to both global challenges (protection of nature and biodiversity and the fight against climate change) and local challenges (social, health, economic and employment problems).
The aim of the workshop on 11 October was to create synergies between producers so that in the future they could express their desire to organise themselves and take the step of proposing projects to promote local Luxembourg quality products and increase supply. These workshops are an incubator for bottom-up initiatives.
© Syndicat PRO-SUD / Minett UNESCO Biosphere
The interregional workshop
The day’s programme was divided into two parts. The morning was dedicated to thematic visits and the afternoon to workshops and direct exchanges. The thematic visits in the morning enabled participants to discover the region’s best practices, to be inspired by the approaches taken, to see the successes and to understand the obstacles and difficulties.
For this edition of the interregional workshop “Liewensmëttelpunkt goes Minett UNESCO Biosphere”, the group made up of participants from both regions had the great pleasure of visiting the remarkable “Minetter Schof” project, a collaboration between a producer, the Administration de la Nature et Forêts (ANF) and the Minett UNESCO Biosphere. After a short walk to reach the site, Pol Kail, the initiator of the project, and Jan Herr, responsible for the management of the protected areas in the former open-cast mines of the Minett region within the ANF, explained the idea, which combines nature conservation, landscape and species preservation, the production of quality meat and the commercial promotion of this local product from the only biosphere reserve in the country. These sheep grazing in the nature reserves of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere were later enjoyed for lunch at the restaurant “An der Schmëdd” in Ellergronn.
The group then visited the “Eis Epicerie” project in Soleuvre, where Myriam Cecchetti and Jos. Piscitelli, who initiated the project, explained the unique approach of this grocery store, which offers organic products at prices that are accessible to a large number of local residents. Providing access to healthy, local and seasonal food is at the heart of the Nordstad “Liewensmëttelpunkt” approach. The excursion participants spent time together and got to know each other better. This facilitated teamwork and exchange during the afternoon.
Workshops and discussions
For the workshop part, a short keynote set the tone for the day. Seven participants, three from the Northern Region and four from the Southern Region, presented their projects, their background, their funding, how they work (staff, structure, time spent) and put special emphasis on the lessons learned from their projects. This was followed by discussions and a brainstorming workshop, which led to a fruitful exchange between the participants.
At the end of the event, Claude Haagen, Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, honoured the process with his presence and addressed a few words to the participants of the interregional workshop. In his speech, the Minister stressed that: “The challenges posed by shifts in global flows affecting food security and the availability of energy resources, as a result of climate change and acts of war contrary to international law, highlight the importance of local, organic and seasonal production. I am all the more delighted by initiatives such as the “Liewensmëttelpunkt” in the Nordstad and the cooperation between the regions of the Grand Duchy on this issue. “
Organised by the two inter-municipal associations in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning and the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, the day-long meeting of stakeholders from the Nordstad and Minett UNESCO Biosphere ended with a “vin d’honneur” served on the terrace of the brasserie “An der Schmëdd”.