On 25 October 2022, the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) organised the webinar ‘GEOfood – Connection between geology and food‘. 

The GEOfood initiative was established in the Geoparks Magma in Norway, Roku in Denmark and Reykjanes in Iceland as a brand reserved only for UNESCO Global Geoparks approved territories. The speaker of the webinar was Sara Gentilini, she is the leader of GEOfood and the project manager of the UNESCO Global Geopark Magma. Mónica Sousa, Coordinator of the EFG Panel of Experts on Geological Heritage was the host of the online session.

The GEOfood idea originated from the need of having common selected criteria for developing local food networks within UNESCO Global Geoparks and eventually valorising the products within specific tourist offers dedicated to geological heritage and local food which could increase the geoparks visibility and the people’s interest in geological heritage.

The GEOfood brand, now owned by the Magma Geopark, aims at collecting stories about local communities, local traditions, and the origin of the food raw materials in connection with the geological heritage of each UNESCO Global Geopark territory: its quality is based on the authenticity of the products, the heritage of local people, and the proximity of the ingredients.

All the food enterprises willing to use the GEOfood brand must use raw materials from the Geopark area and the GEOfood restaurants should serve at least one seasonal menu. This criterion is chosen to guarantee the support of local farmers, and local entrepreneurs, and the integration of low-scale economy strategies within the UNESCO Global Geopark. GEOfood is also contributing to the empowerment of communities and kids, through educational programs linked with sustainability and climate change issues.

Up to now, the GEOfood initiative has been a successful project: in May 2022, 34 UNESCO Global Geoparks were embracing the brand, the criteria, and its values, developing more than 70 different local products and 30 local menus, which all explained the connection between the raw material and the geological heritage.

You can now watch the recording of the webinar at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnN3qLe-JXs

Sara Gentilini is an archaeologist, historian and project manager of the Magma UNESCO Geopark (Norway). She is responsible for the international networking activities and EU- Nordic funded projects. She is the inventor of the GEOfood brand for food enterprises within UNESCO Global Geopark’s local communities.

Sara is a Marie Curie PhD candidate at the Earth Department of the Turin University, within the new international Programme Teach4Culture. She is studying geodiversity and abiotic ecosystem services in the framework of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Sara is member of the UNESCO evaluation team for UNESCO Global Geoparks territories. She has several years of experience as a project manager for international projects related to geological interpretation, education, culture, geo-tourism, and cooperation with local stakeholders, universities, communities and aspiring geoparks territories.

She is passionate about cultural diversity and creative processes and loves to learn and explore.