Zero km food is a term to describe a particularly food fully produced, sold and eaten locally; it travels zero kilometers from the producer to the consumer.
Mainly it refers to fruits, vegetables, cheese and meat which does not go through the global trade chains.
Why is this concept relevant to the sustainable development? Let’s see together some of the reasons!
There is an important ecological aspect which cannot be kept hidden: since there is no transport involved in the cycle, the environment does not suffer from direct and indirect pollution that derives from the production phases.
Both countries and local communities as well, should have the possibility to grow their own food, and decrease the dependence on global food players.
In addition, zero-km food is a characteristic aspect of the tourism and the national brand. Each country has its own traditional food, more or less famous, depending on the country. These traditions should be maintained for the nation pride where the food has been produced, but also and for the typical products that distinguish it.
Many people travel only for the purpose of tasting the typical country food, locally produced and that cannot be found somewhere else. This is the huge role of zero-km products: enhancing the local production and recovering the link with the territory by learning about the typical flavors and gastronomic traditions.
The Food Travel Monitor traces the phenomenon growth trend: the 49% of international tourists travel for the pleasure of eating and choose their destinations no more, and not only, according to the place but for what you can taste there.
The most important international study on the food and wine tourism has been presented by the World Travel Association States. The research has made in 11 countries: Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, China, Mexico, India, and US. Italy, France and Japan are the countries on the podium.
Zero km food, also defined by the more technical term “short supply chain”, denotes the local products, as we already said, that are sold or administered near the production place; These products offer greater guarantees of freshness due to the absence, or almost, of transport and transit.
Recently the 4th edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, the World Forum on Food and Wine Tourism organized by the World Tourism Organization, together with the Government of Thailand and the Basque Culinary Center (Basque culinary center for the training, research and innovation in the gastronomic sector with an international vocation). The conference was characterized by the presence of lot of people such as sector operators, institutional bodies and academic experts coming from 52 countries, whose were gathered to discuss possible opportunities for future collaborations.
The food and wine tourism, concluding, has the power to build the basis for a sustainable development of the territory through the creation of policies and strategies aimed at the preservation of culinary identity and the growth and participation of the communities involved.