Declaration Adopted by the Delegates to the Tasting India Symposium


Declaration Adopted by the Delegates at the Tasting India Symposium

India International Centre, New Delhi * February 28 to March 1, 2017

Recognising the immutability of the web that binds humankind to our ecosystem and the biodiversity that we consider to be our common inheritance;

Recognising the inalienable right of every citizen of this planet to have continuous access to nutritive food with no traces of fertilisers and pesticide residues, or chemical additives;

Recognising the need of nations to return to the practice of eating traditional produce grown locally in the designated seasons; and

Reiterating the inescapable duty of the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors to contribute their mite to the growing international movement for sustainable planet-friendly practices...

We, the delegates to the Tasting India Symposium, declare that:

(1) We will work towards creating a national alliance of hotel and restaurant owners, chefs, academics, food producers and marketers, public advocacy groups, tour operators and students to promote the values of safe eating based on seasonal produce sourced locally.

(2) We will act in concert with all the stakeholders in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors to promote traditional produce and create a market for them nationally in hotels and restaurants across the country.

(3) We will work unceasingly, and in concert with government and other public initiatives, to create awareness among consumers, especially children, both against food that is inimical to a higher quality of life and in favour of a healthy, balanced diet not dictated by any current fad.

(4) We will provide traditional and organic farmers a public advocacy platform so that they can reach out to a larger public and the decision-makers in the government, and be heard above the din of the publicity machine of big food, fertiliser and pesticide corporations.

(5) We will steer a national initiative to introduce global opinion-makers to the soft power of Indian gastronomy and give culinary tourism the thrust it requires to arrive on the scene as a tourist footfall driver and creator of new employment avenues, especially for women (home cooks and B&B operators).

(6) We will promote, through international food influencers and tour operators, established restaurants, old and new culinary trails, and spice routes to attract a new category of high-spending international tourists.

(7) We will work together other stakeholders to delve into the principles of ayurveda and its potential contributions to humanity's search for sustainable food production and consumption, without romanticising it or turning it into exotic attraction.

(8) We will strive together to connect the international vegetarian movement with its peers in India to popularise the Indian vegetarian diet as one of the sustainable options to reduce the planet's carbon footprint.

(9) We will continually showcase India's 'lost foods', which are produced by the poorest of the poor using sustainable agricultural practices, so that they find a global market that could, in turn, open up new wealth-generation opportunities for our marginal and poor farmers.

(10) We will put processes in place to set in motion a globally accepted certification process to guarantee the authenticity of Indian food served in restaurants around the world.

We, the delegates to the Tasting India Symposium, further resolve that this Declaration be circulated among all our partners and supporters for their insights and inputs so that it becomes the voice of the nation, or at least that part of it which is wedded to the idea of safe food for a sustainable planet.

February 28 and March 1-2, 2017
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Complex
India International Centre,
40, Max Mueller Marg,
New Delhi - 110003

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