Central Victoria residents are expected to find out by the end of the year whether their home is named one of the world’s newest UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy.
The City of Greater Bendigo is in the midst of work on the application, and plans to submit it mid-year.
Contributing to the application is both an internal committee and an external advisory group, comprised of representatives from various facets of the food system, including hospitality, production, farmers markets, tourism, education, and food waste initiatives.
City of Greater Bendigo regional sustainable development manager Trevor Budge said input from this broad range of areas contributed to an understanding of all the complexities within gastronomy.
He said the application also looked beyond Bendigo and took in the region.
Of major assistance to the application, Mr Budge said, were the knowledge and contacts gained by councillor Jennifer Alden, who visited two Cities of Gastronomy – Parma and Alba – and other cities in Italy last year on a Municipal Association Victoria fellowship.
Cr Alden said she was able to learn more about those cities’ application processes.
Read more: Application process under way for UNESCO bid
In Alba, she said, she saw how various sectors collaborated and their communication strategies, while in Parma, she learned how their integrated food, culture and art spheres have played out in their workforce and economy.
Were Bendigo successful, Mr Budge said, doors would open to opportunities globally.
“We want to engage with the rest of the world and tell the rest of the world what we do with food,” he said.
Cr Alden said the distinction would also build on the activities of the council, such as its efforts to improve the community’s health and wellbeing, build the economy, and boost employment.
Mr Budge said were Bendigo’s application supported by UNESCO’s Australian office, it would go to the United Nations agency’s headquarters in Paris, where a decision was expected in November or December.
If chosen, Bendigo will become the first Australian City of Gastronomy, and join 26 other cities across the world.
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