Modelling regional cooperation
Caucasus brands are a range of tea, honey, cheese and wine created collaboratively by producers from across the region. This is an initiative that aims to visibly demonstrate the mutual benefits of regional economic cooperation across the South Caucasus. This project provides a platform for dialogue between business communities. Their collaboration on the brands shows how different perspectives can complement one another, and that working together can lead to more successful results. The Caucasus Brands serve to symbolise the opening up of possibilities of cooperation, as well as presenting a practical means of bringing together professionals across the region.
Our brands are showcased regularly across the region, including at the South Caucasus Annual Tea and Honey festival, business forums and food exhibitions in Kutaisi, Yerevan, Gyumri and Kars, and Krynica Economic Forum.
These platforms are key to our goal of advocating for new models of regional cooperation. While we try to reach as many local communities as possible, our main advocacy targets include local authorities and the international community with the aim of influencing policies and processes that are important for peaceful transformation of conflicts.
Advancing cross-border discourse
CBDN has launched a new initiative ‘Recipes for Peace’, which explores the conciliatory power of food and culinary heritage within the Turkish-Armenian context. CBDN engages both professionals within the culinary sector and homemakers in the local communities in rediscovering similarities and diversities within cuisine and culture on both sides of the border. The programme includes:
- Field trips for Turkish and Armenian experts to Shirak and Kars, to learn about the recipes cooked in different kitchens throughout the regions
- Public workshops to share the recipes and their histories with the local communities, and engage the public in dialogue
- Production of a joint recipe book to highlight the resemblances in culinary culture
- Production of a documentary to show the role of food and cooking in advancing Turkish-Armenian discourse
Socially beneficial business projects
CBDN supports business projects that are for mutual benefit and require genuine partnership and where neither conflict party dictates or unilaterally profits from the other’s help. This helps restore trust and humanity in the relationships between the opposing sides. For instance:
A pilot apiary to strengthen Caucasian grey mountain bee, Gardabani, Georgia
Pest-control action against the ‘Fall web worm’ and service centres to address this problem in the regions adjacent to Ingur/i and beyond
Rehabilitation of joint stone-cutting workshop in Tkvarchal/Tkvarcheli.
Cross-learning and study trips
CBDN organises regional events and educational tours for entrepreneurs that engage all sides of the conflict.
These events provide an important opportunity for representatives of small and medium enterprises to engage in professional dialogue, establish contacts with colleagues in other regions and learn about the nuances of professional practice in different areas.
Some of the examples include: