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4 New Local Gastronomic Points (LGP) – a promising start for the development of Rural Tourism in Neamţ

26 May 2023 No Comment

A Local Gastronomic Points (LGP) is a specific unit for the capitalization and commercialization of local primary production, located in a rural area, where culinary products and drinks are prepared according to recipes specific to the area, and served directly to the final consumer, for a maximum number of 12 people at a time. The Local Gastronomic Points are a valid solution for the promotion of primary rural production, the development of rural tourism and the local economy.

LGPs represent serious opportunities for farmers who reside in rural areas, for the marketing and seling of food products, of high quality and value, close to the source of production. This practice is completely in agreement with the provisions of the European agri-food strategy – from farm to consumer through the short supply chain. Thus, Local Gastronomic Points represent an important governmental measure for encouraging and increasing the rediscovery of food products from rural areas. The peasant household becomes a genuine space of communion and the focal point of attraction and authenticity, thanks to sharing the same gastronomic culture.

The development of the regulatory framework for the operation of Local Gastronomic Points was started by “Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23” Association, in 2016, and benefited from the support of the National Sanitary, Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (A.N.S.V.S.A.), and of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The approach was based on a public consultation process, and aimed to simplify the administrative procedures though which rural households can carry out economic activities that are profitable, rewarding, and in full compliance with hygiene and food safety standards.

Encouraging culinary tourism in small but authentic rural areas is a viable solution to the economic recovery of many European countries. In addition to the opportunities to discover some heritage values ​little known to the public, the intensification of tourism in rural areas can lead to the economic and social development of several destinations. And, what is of particular importance, is that the development of such areas trigger the development of the macro-regions which they are a part of, following the principles of sustainable development, involving local communities in the process of decision-making and generating a diversification of the tourist offer.

245 Local Gastronomic Points (LGPs) in the country, of which 4 are in Neamț County, 3 LGPs located in Bicazu Ardelean commune and one LGP located in Horia commune.

It’s a promising start for Neamț County that could become, in time, a solid landmark in the development of rural and mountain tourism.

This type of healthy, slow-cooked food, along with the miracle of serving the dishes in an authentic rural setting, was brought back to the attention of visitors coming to the villages in Romania. The news is all the more gratifying since it can create the basis for developing a strategy towards promoting Romanian culinary tourism, generating tangible economic opportunities for rural residents, helping people with low incomes, decreasing the unemployment rate, and keeping young people in their rural home areas.

A Local Gastronomic Point can operate almost everywhere in a rural settlement: the existing premises of a private residence, farms, sheepfolds, apiaries, , fish farming facilities, fishing shelters and bivvies, hunting grounds, hunting complexes, game farms, wineries, mushroom and forest fruit collection centres, game collection centres, forest reserves, monasteries, agri-tourism guesthouses, as well as in other Bed and Breakfast establishments and facilities in a rural area, where one or more activities related to the primary production of agricultural products, fishing, hunting, harvesting or collection of non-woody forest products are carried out.

 The members of Cozma family from Bicazu Ardelean told us that they started the attestation process to certify their Local Gastronomic Point by the end of 2022 and that, ever since, they have been waiting for tourists and locals alike with tasty dishes cooked according to local recipes, all produce being 100% organic, from their own household. Freshly cooked food is served in the household, but guests must book their visit at least a day in advance. Those who wish to pay a visit and have a traditional lunch can click of the Facebook page Bucate Tradiționale Bicazu Ardelean PGL and also call the hosts at +40.745.668.674, to establish the menu and the exact time at which the guests arrive.

In order to make better use of primary production and accelerate the process of rural development, including services in the rural area, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, through the mediation of the National Agency for the Mountain Area, conducts free professional training courses for people who want to establish a Local Gastronomic Point. The certificate obtained after participating in this professional training program stands as a proof of acquiring the necessary basic skillls in order to register the specific activity of the Local Gastronomic Point at the National Trade Register Office of Romania, for NACE (CAEN) Code 5610 – Restaurants (Local Gastronomic Point).

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development assumes the role of identifying market instruments to support LGPs by certifying and equipping these LPGs with all the necessary auxiliary equipment for successfully operating on the market. What is more, the National Agency for the Mountain Area supports the development of Local Gastronomic Points, through specific information, promotion and dissemination activities, online and offline: websites, mobile apps, and other means of mass information, coordination and regulation.

The initiators of the project talk about the importance of promoting rural tourism, especially culinary tourism, which acts a catalyst for social cohesion and reduction of economic gaps between rural and urban areas.  by creating a socialization model around the traditional gastronomic act, specific to each area, a phenomenon found in full growth at the European level.

So, Local Gastronomic Points are an important factor for the growth and diversification of income sources, and a real necessity for the economic rehabilitation of rural communities in Romania, especially in the mountain area. Within the European Union, active tourism and rural tourism gain more and more ground. What is more, tourists are ecologically sensitive and respectful of local cultures, always looking for new, unique sensations and experiences. They seek contact with real people and commitment to creative practices and local culture. By involving visitors in visiting rural areas, and eating healthy, local dishes, value-added is created for all parties involved: tourists, tour operators, accommodation facilities, other tourist services providers, etc. This leads to the apparition of a synergistic effect, from which all actors benefit. In Romania, where rural communities are constantly changing, and a high percentage of the rural population is dependent on agriculture activities, a boost of rural tourism can bring a real change in their economy. All these are arguments in the direction of supporting the further development of LGPs.

Photo gallery: Traditional homemade dishes that can be served at PGL Bicazu Ardelean:


See the accommodation possibilities from Neamt County

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