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Gastrodiplomacy initiative launched
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the Gastrodiplomacy Initiative today during the Lebanese Diaspora Conference.

Gastrodiplomacy aims at highlighting local cuisine and products, and marketing agro-industrial produce and restaurants in the countries that host Diaspora communities. The Initiative also aims at maintaining the quality of food and services provided by Lebanese restaurants abroad.

Ambassadors, Councilors, and Commercial Attachés are required to help restaurateurs and industrialists penetrate these markets.

The Initiative was signed by the Ministries of Economy and Trade, Tourism, Industry, and Agriculture, the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night Clubs, and Pastries in Lebanon (RCNP), and the Syndicate of Food Industrialists (SLFI).

Tony Rami, Chairman of RCNP, said: “Gastrodiplomacy is a diplomatic strategy to activate and market restaurants and local products.” He said that the Syndicate will start working on the Initiative in the coming two months.

Rami said that RCNP and SLFI will set the standards and norms required to guarantee restaurants are providing high quality service and food. Staff from both syndicates will impose quality control on the restaurants outside and provide them with a certificate of authentication to ensure that they are up to standard. “The quality control will be on the ingredients used and the techniques implemented,” he said.

The Initiative with the embassies' help will encourage restaurateurs to expand to countries in which local, Lebanese cuisine is not available. “With the help of embassies, investors will be informed about investment opportunities and the potential in specific countries,” Rami said.

Kabalan Frangieh, Ambassador of Lebanon in South Africa, said: “We will start working seriously on boosting the local agro-industrial products in South Africa in the first stage. This work would lead to opening restaurants there [in South Africa].”
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: May 14, 2018