2.11. The Chocolate Way Project, Candidate for the European Cultural Route
The Association “The Chocolate Way” intends to pursue the following main objectives:
(a) To promote, enhance and protect the European artistic, historic, and cultural heritage, material and immaterial, linked to cocoa and chocolate in Europe over the centuries, as well as expanding its knowableness by putting Chocolate Routes onto a network, highlighting both the role that chocolate has had over the centuries and its present role fostering communication between European populations and distant cultures, even overseas, and bringing them closer through trade.
(b) To promote the production of artisan-made chocolate as a symbol of European identity, through the diffusion of craft knowledge and of traditional techniques, promoting the construction of a common European citizenship and contributing, more generally, to improving the spread of the European image and cultural identity.
(c) To enhance and promote the artisan confectionery product, in particular chocolate, as part of a healthy Mediterranean diet with the nutritional values ascribable to it.
(d) To promote the official recognition of the Chocolate Way as a European Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and to create synergies with the Cocoa Route promoted by UNESCO in Latin America and the Caribbean.
(e) To promote and support projects of cooperation in cocoa’s origin countries to assure a better tenability of the entire chocolate supply chain.
An example of sites and experiences related to cocoa and chocolate history, culture and creativity in Barcelona and Catalonia are now articulated to reinforce the creation of a regional node of this transnational route.
Initiatives such as CHIELI—Heritage in European Life and Identity—financed by the European Union, through to the COSME Program (2014–2020) and the declaration of Catalonia as a European Region of Gastronomy for 2016 will contribute to achieve this.