Istanbul – gateway to sustainability

By Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Managing Director, Sustainable Restaurant Association 

Two weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure of joining hospitality and tourism colleagues from around the world in Istanbul for the third Global Gastro-Economy Summit. Hosted by TURYid, the Turkish Tourism Restaurant Investors and Gastronomy Enterprises Association.  Packed in a conference center at the intersection of Europe and Asia, with a breeze blowing over the Bosphorus, we gathered to talk about the future of gastro-tourism. The most striking take away from the event was just how front of mind, sustainability was for all that were participating in the conversation.  

A few of the highlights and key take aways from me: 

The early morning opened with a conversation about Turkey, with remarks from the Minister of Culture and Tourism, the Chairman of Turyid and comment from the Chief of Tourism Market Intelligence & Competitiveness at the UNWTO. It was amazing to hear speaker after speaker comment on the centrality of hospitality and tourism to rebuilding economies post Covid, and emphasizing that sustainability and inclusion are essential pieces of the puzzle. So central in fact that the UNWTO’s 7th annual World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism later this year is entirely centered on the two themes.  

From the introductions we headed into a Deep Vision session, bringing in futurism and data driven trend forecasting. There was a lot of discussion of the Metaverse and how digital futures might impact the way that we think about dining experiences. Speakers pointed to Sublimotion the $1,700 a head dining experience in Ibiza, complete with virtual reality goggles to manipulate the plain room around diners into a new location per course. Again, sustainability was crucial to the vision for the future, highlighting development of future cities across the Middle East like The Line. Rethinking spaces to get rid of cars, and connect urban living with nature and food growing. Katharina Unger, a product designer and innovator from Austria presented their solution, Livin Farms, using food waste to farm insects, which in turn can be sold as animal feed, reducing our reliance on deforested soya to feed animals.  

After lunch we reconvened for perhaps the greatest session title I have ever seen at a conference: Sustainability Right Now! We introduced Food Made Good to the audience, making the case for why a sustainability rating for restaurants across a shared global framework is fundamental for driving hospitality further, faster toward a progressive future. The session was followed by our partners Pernod Ricard presenting the Bar World of Tomorrow tool for bartenders that the SRA developed in partnership with TrashTiki and Pernod Ricard. Other notable brands updating on their sustainability priorities were Unilever and Metro Cash and Carry.  

Hardeep Rehal, a mixologist and innovator from Denmark brought the issues to life by connecting the importance of sustainable gastronomy and the bar world, sharing his story of creating ‘coffee’ from leftover bread waste, and inspiring other bar tenders around the world to think about food waste as flavour waste- constantly pushing them to rethink how they access ingredients and innovate. 

And finally, the stand out sessions from the late afternoon were JP McMahon sharing the story of Food on the Edge  putting Gallway on the map for gastronomy, tying together just how important these global gatherings and connections and collaborations are, and the story of Ebru Baybara Demir, a social gastronomy activist who shared her story of collecting food waste from the fruit and veg markets in her village to compost and restore the soil, repairing the soil degradation that is happening with desertification due to climate change. What a way to end – with the inspiration that there are people working hard EVERYWHERE to solve problems, using all of the resources they have available to make a difference.  

For a deeper dive into any of the issues from the conference you can check out the recaps on youtube. We are excited to have Food Made Good included in these global discussions driving change for gastronomy across the world—and we invite you on the journey with us as we continue to grow our reach and drive change.   

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email