Application of Santa Maria da Feira to the Unesco Creative Cities Network – GASTRONOMY

Santa Maria da Feira being a Frontier Land, a geographical communication platform between Porto and the Douro River (North), Aveiro and the Lagoon (South), mountains (East) and the Atlantic (West and place of departure for the Portuguese to discover countless gastronomic varieties), is natural and extremely relevant that the gastronomic panorama of the county is quite rich and diversified, with clear influences from the region between Douro and Vouga.

The proximity to the sea and the different rivers offer a great diversity of fish, while meat and dairy products emerge from the interior and the mountains, as well as vegetables and fruits, many produced by young agricultural businesssmen (funded by the European Union and supported by ADRITEM and APK), alongside existing small producers throughout the county.

It is this diversity of products and flavours, combined with the “know-how” and the creativity of students, trainers and chefs, gives Santa Maria da Feira the reputation of being a gastronomic destination in development (proven by the constant growth of new restaurant concepts in the last years) and an excellent destination where tourists and visitors come to taste and enjoy quality dishes, recipes and flavours, seasoned by the hospitality and professionalism of its professionals.

Counscious of this reality, the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira intends to make a strong commitment to gastronomy as a central and structuring element in promoting the destination, creating jobs, enhancing the requalification of heritage and the economic and creative value chain.

Aware of the European guidelines of the European Green Deal and the European Strategy 'From Farm to Fork', as well as the guidelines of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira, decides to start a set of initiatives aimed at the development of gastronomic tourism in the county and, prepare the Municipality's application to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, in the area of Gastronomy, with the following vision, strategy and objectives:

- Santa Maria da Feira vision is to be recognized as an inclusive, innovative, creative and sustainable municipality, with the mission to promote the well-being and satisfaction of its citizens and visitors, promoting the economic, social and cultural development of the municipality.

- The Municipality's strategy aims to elevate culture and creativity as driving forces for the enrichment and projection of regional cuisine, contributing to the sustainable, resilient and inclusive development of its entire gastronomic ecosystem.

- The main objectives of the application are:

. to promote historical and scientific production of knowledge about the gastronomic heritage throught its diagnosis;

. to implement a municipal program of awareness rainsing about endogenous healthy and sustainable food “education for taste”;

. to strengthen the promotion of the production, transformation, distribution and consumption chain of local products, however in balance with the global;

. to promote “artistic and creative gastronomic residences” valuing nationally and internationally (UCCN) local products and creators;

. to encourage the creation of integrated and inclusive gastronomic projects;

. to enhance multiculturalism through the connection with migrant communities and UCCN;

. to reconvert the municipal market – Fernando Távora – as a central element and integrator of the entire project (hub).


The application has an Advisory Board composed of technicians, scientists, artists and NGDOs, also being involved the local and immigrant community and vulnerable groups in the municipality, to leverage the food heritage and local gastronomy at a national and international level.



Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences University of Porto (FCNAUP)

The historical research of the territory in the various areas of social sciences is coordinated by the Convento dos Loios Museum. For the gastronomy area was developed a specific collaboration with the FCNAUP in the domains of research, nutrition, training and monitoring.

The FCNAUP will be responsible for mapping the gastronomic heritage of Santa Maria da Feira; to develop an innovative nutritional rating tool to classify the gastronomic heritage of Santa Maria da Feira; and to give technical support and training for the local food ecosystem for the nutritional valorization of the gastronomic heritage.


NGDO Rosto Solidário (Angola)

Rosto Solidário's experience in the diffusion of the SDG 2030 and in the Cooperation for Development with Angola aims to boost the quality of education in Angola, with a focus on primary and secondary education and on lifelong learning opportunities, based on non-formal educational spaces. given continuity to the Santa Cruz Cultural Centre in the city of Uíge and to the ‘Imbondeiro do Saber Library’ (or Calumbo Educational Resources Centre) in Viana. From these spaces, a quality education is aimed at, valuing culture and the active involvement of the community.

Based on the experience with Angola, Rosto Solidário aims to work in Santa Maria da Feira on issues of education for sustainable development and global citizenship, for example using the documentary Mamas do Papelão (filmed in Uíge in Angola) in sessions of the campaign “Bichinhos na Cabeça” (Bugs in Your Head) which aims to combat rumours and discrimination in Santa Maria da Feira.

Since 2021, Rosto Solidário, as a partner of Cáritas Portuguesa, has participated in the planning of future capacity building projects and the promotion of associations of small agricultural producers in eastern Angola.

We will thus be able, within the scope of the partnership with the Municipality of Santa Maria da Feira, to promote the Portugal – Angola interaction in terms of Education, Culture, Associations and Community Participation.



AGAVI (Portuguese Association for the Promotion of Gastronomy and Wine, Regional Products and Biodiversity) has the mission to contribute to greater dynamism in the agri-food sector. Founded in 2010 as a non-profit trade association, it has, since then, asserted its position and fulfilled its objectives through various actions in the national and international territory.

AGAVI intends to constitute itself as a meeting point and interaction between the different partners and economic agents operating in an area of activity that provides cultural, social and economic reflections of special significance in the sector.



The associates are the reason why AHRESP (Hospitality Association, Restoration and Similar from Portugal) has existed for 120 years. As a public utility institution represents the entire Hotel, Catering and Beverage sector, with 22 thousand members. AHRESP represents companies in the Tourism sector and defend their rights and legitimate interests.


Fogaça Producers Group

This entity groups all entities that produce Fogaça and aims to maintain the original recipe and manufacturing process, and enhance respect for safety and hygiene standards in the production of the delicacy.

Fogaça Producers Group developed an intensive work for the national and European certification of Fogaça (IGP – Protected Geographical Identification) obtained in 2016.

Since then, the brand IGP has been boosting the gastronomic evolution of the county, attracting new audiences who seek Fogaça's innovative sweet/salty presentation, combined with other endogenous products.


Confraria da Fogaça

The Confraria's objectives are to promote the study, defense and dissemination of Fogaça da Feira and its relationship with gastronomy and crafts, art, science and literature, either directly or as a complement to other historical and cultural activities.

It is also a aim the support and promotion of initiatives aimed at a better understanding of the relationship between Fogaça and all traditions linked to the domain of gastronomy, art, literature, history and culture.



ADRITEM (Regional Integrated Development Association of Terras de Santa Maria) is responsible for the intermediate management of community funds and for the execution of local rural development projects.

ADRITEM organizes the event Há Festa na Alveira in the village of Porto Carvoeiro



APK (Portuguese Association of Kiwi Growers) was founded on March 11, 2004 by a team and technicians and farmers dedicated to kiwi farming and who wanted to make the Kiwi Row one of the most modern and organized agricultural rows in Portugal.



AETICE (Association of Information Technology, Communication and Electronics Companies). AETICE aims to promote and enhance companies in information, communication and electronic technologies, promoting interaction with other national and international organizations.



AEF is a Business Association, with a Municipal and Multisectorial scope. Its main objective is to promote the business development of the Municipality and the region, promoting the necessary conditions for the emergence of strategic partnerships. AEF intends to foster business dynamism and meet the diverse needs of its members inherent to the association.