Ethical food as a differentiation factor for tourist destinations: The case of “Slow Food”

post by : Rohrbasser Laetitia

Viassone, M. & Grimmer M. (2015). Ethical food as a differentiation factor for tourist destinations: The case of “Slow Food”. Journal of Investment and Management, 4(1-1), 1-9. 

Summary Keywords: Ethical food, Tourist Destination, Slow Food, Tourist Strategies & sustainability. 

In the latest years, people have become more and more aware of ethical food, more precisely, organic, sustainable, fair-trade, local and healthy. In fact the exact opposite of fast (junk) food. During the last century, enterprises have been trying to produce ready-made meals in order to reduce the time “wasted” while preparing food. Sadly, ethical food sector represents only 5 to 10 percent of actual food market. Another sensitive concern, is the welfare of animals in meat productions. Disease like swine fever or avian flu has worried the whole planet and even influenced the economic market. Nowadays, it is starting to change (again), but this time better, people have noticed and maybe experienced the impacts of non-healthy food and the damages that it can cause to our body. In fact, ethical food is now a new element of decision making when choosing the next holiday destination. Italy has a great image of food for example. Another great example would be Starbucks who’s buying sustainable, organic and fair-trade coffee beans to importers who actually are buying directly to farmers. Tourism is a major element of economic growth and therefore, can also be a result of mass tourism which is not sustainable but more damaging. The worry of sustainable and ethical tourism has brought food with it, since it is now considered has part of the culture. For this reason, food is also a way to immerse yourself in the country and to acquire more knowledge of it. Even though, the desire to change fast food for ethical food is present, several barriers make it difficult. One of the major issue is the high cost of such production, the geographical boarders, the rapid progress of technology… Tourists are now looking for more unique experience when visiting a country, they are looking for more local and cultural, to be plunged in the country as much as possible. Destination attractiveness may in the nearest future rhyme with: contribution to the country’s sustainability. The development of gastronomic tourism has also shown a new way of traveling while being fair-trade and healthy. Unfortunately this paper is one of the first attempt to explain and illustrate this new movement. There is, for the moment a real lack of literature on ethical food. 





Rohrbasser, Laetitia - 702_e (2015)