For the first time, a booth devoted to Mediterraneanan salinas was at the SANA 2022 - 34th International Exhibition of Organic and Natural Products”. From 8th to 11th September 2022, the Tunisian-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – CTICI attended this international fair to present the MedArtSal project.
Organised at the Bologna Exhibition Centre, SANA has been for decades the reference point for the world of organic and natural products and was created as a showcase for innovative products in the fields of organic food, natural cosmetics and the green lifestyle. Conceived to favour the valorisation of artisanal salt pans in the Mediterranean, MedArtSal is fully in line with the theme of SANA and this is the reason why CTICI chose this exhibition to give visibility to the project.
SANA 2022 provided an important opportunity to illustrate MedArtSal to a wide audience. During the event, CTICI welcomed to its stand dozens of people interested in the topic of the economic, social and environmental rehabilitation of the artisanal salt pans of the Mediterranean and illustrated to them the results achieved so far, the activities carried out and those planned for the coming months. Particular interest was shown for the first edition of the MedArtSal International Fair, organised by CTICI in March 2022 in Tunis which is has been an important tool to start building a solid network that will ensure a constant exchange of ideas, projects and know-how for the Mediterranean salt pans. A further opportunity to strengthen this network and to provide the salt pans with a new space for meeting and discussion will be provided by the organisation of a second edition of the MedArtSal International Fair, scheduled to take place in Lebanon in spring 2023.
Many people were also interested in learning more about the salt pans, which, in the framework of the project, received funding to implement activities to enhance their social and environmental value. Helpful to describe these activities were the photographic testimonies collected during the monitoring carried out by CTICI during the summer at two Tunisian salt pans that are currently engaged in carrying out actions to safeguard the biodiversity and ecosystems present in the salt pans, to improve the conditions of the workers employed in salt harvesting and to develop eco-tourist circuits open to the public.
In addition, participation in SANA 2022 allowed CTICI to connect with Italian and international companies and associations interested in collaborating not only with CTICI but also with the salt pans involved in the project and with Tunisian and international partners for the realisation of the project's next activities.
Finally, there were also visitors curious to learn more about not only the sustainability elements of the new management model that MedArtSal is developing for the Mediterranean salt pans, but also the actions that are being put in place to actively contribute to the environmental protection of the salt pans.
The event allowed CTICI not only to illustrate the progress made in the project and to give it international visibility, but also to gather insights, ideas and contacts useful for the successful continuation of the MedArtSal project.
The project, financed by the European Union's ENI CBC MED programme and launched in November 2019, is contributing to the definition of a sustainable and adaptable management model for Mediterranean artisanal salt pans including not only a strategic marketing plan and a strategy to safeguard biodiversity but also an e-commerce platform, a capacity building programme, an international network and many other useful tools to support artisanal salt producers in preserving a millenary tradition.