The C.H.I.E.L.I. project – co-founded by COSME Programme – aims at constructing a new European tourism product focusing on hi-end enterprises production that constitute the European itinerary on the high-end chocolate, in line with the suggestions provided by the European Commission in the communication “Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination “A new political framework for tourism in Europe” (COM 2010 – 352).
Partners are the members of the network: Unioncamere (Coordinator, with the affiliate SiCamera), Association “The Chocolate Way”, I Viaggi dell’Elefante (tour operators), Municipality of Perugia, Municipality of Le Castellet (France), Musée Les secrets du chocolat (France), Panelite NV (Belgium), Tübingen Erleben GmbH (Germany), Ibertur – Network of Heritage, Tourism and Sustainable Development Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), TDC – Associacion de Fabricantes de turron, chocolate y Derivados de la Comunidad Valenciana (Spain), Micrograde.com Ltd (United Kingdom).
The project focused on hi-end productions of chocolate identified not necessarily with the price, but rather with the concepts of quality, broadly speaking (e.g. raw materials, the process of production, CSR, etc.), design and relationship with the local culture which influences the characteristics of the products.
The routes that were created with the project, at the time 30 in six European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK), are the basis of actual tour packages that will give travelers the opportunity to meet producers, to taste and to experience a 360 ° over the chocolate world.
We would like to highlight that the C.H.I.E.L.I. project has, among its objectives, in particular that of developing the cultural profile of the actions implemented by the network responsible for the Route, in line with the Council of Europe certification requisites, and this also under the mentoring activity of the Institute.
The new COSME program will certainly serve to improve definitely the promotional touristic activities of the route in order for it to function as a true, democratically-functioning network of partners.
- Promotion of the World Cocoa Day and of the European Chocolate Day
The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), the global representative body of cocoa producers, on May 2008 during the International Cocoa Council, established October 1st of each year as Cocoa Day, recognizing the efforts of the millions of small holder farmers who supply over 3 million tons of cocoa each year to be made into one of the most revered food items worldwide, chocolate. The living conditions of these farmers are often precarious and deserve that a greater awareness on the part of consumers.
In addition, the Confederation Française du Chocolat et de la Confiserie, member of The Chocolate Way, in recognition of the living conditions of cocoa growers the world over and ensure that consumers become aware of the need for a long-term self-sustained cocoa economy, has mandated that October 1st be designated the World Cocoa and European Chocolate Day.
At European level, The Chocolate Way strongly supports the initiative of the Académie Française du Chocolat et de la Confiserie, promoting the date of October 1st as celebration of the European Chocolate Day to witness how much more the cocoa supply chain should become a symbol of a democratic globalization of the world system that favors both those who produce as well as those who distributes and consumes.
For this reason, has been launched a collecting signatures between the Mep’s representing all the countries with an important tradition on chocolate (at least 376), for the official proclamation by the Parliament of the European Chocolate Day, through 3 Committees of the European Parliament: the Culture and Education Committees, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committees, and the Agriculture and Rural Development Committees. We have the support of the 3 President of the Committes.
The Chocolate Way celebrates the October 1st with the International Cocoa Organization – ICCO, with a Conference organized by the European Commission on September the 29th, with the participation, among the others, of Silvia Costa, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament.