World foodie fame

Bendigo has become the first Australian city to be designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and the wider region stands to benefit.The title puts the region, from the Murray to Macedon Ranges, on the world map for its foodie culture alongside the likes of China’s Chengdu and Parma in Italy.
Macedon Ranges mayor Cr Janet Pearce said the title would strengthen what the region already had to offer and open up opportunities in economic development, tourism and investment.
“One of the unique things about our region is its diversity in our restaurants, providores, farmers markets, craft beers, distilleries, wine, award-winning eateries and so many great producers,” Cr Pearce said.
“Becoming part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network is exciting for this region and presents a lot of opportunities. People from around the world plan trips to experience the cities in this network and what they have to offer.”
The Macedon Ranges is celebrated for its cool climate wines, award-winning olive producers, mineral water, Kyneton’s ‘food centre’ Piper Street, innovative producers and boutique farming.
Food and beverage is a key component of the experience that drives visitors to the region, contributing an estimated $456 million in regional output and 2354 jobs within shire.
There are 246 recognised Creative Cities around the world, in seven different categories. Across the world, only 66 cities were designated in 2019, and just 10 in the gastronomy category.
The Macedon Ranges is positioned at one of the gateways to the titled region that also incorporates businesses, associations and programs within Mount Alexander, Loddon, Hepburn, Campaspe and Central Goldfields.
The City of Bendigo was the main driver in forming the UNESCO application with support from neighbouring councils and members of the Dja Dja Wurrung.
Bendigo mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the possibilities now open to the city were “exciting” and the city was “keen to continue the great work that has already begun in this space”.
The city’s application focused on the importance of Indigenous history, food and living culture, Bendigo as a creative hub, produce from across our broader region, community initiatives to support local, healthy, sustainable food, multicultural communities and innovation and safeguarding food systems in an era of climate change.

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