BRAND ALBANIA’s OriginAL-certified 100% Albanian products make their debut at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Italy

Toscana, Montecatini Terme, Italy. October 15-18 – OriginAL-certified products have supported Albania’s participation at the Adventure Travel World Summit . Produced by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the Adventure Travel World Summit is for tour operators, adventure travel writers and influencers, tourism boards, industry partners, high-level guests.

The organization is made up of tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents, and accommodations all sharing a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. It currently serves more than 1,000 members in 100 countries worldwide.

This year marks the very first time Albania became a contributing partner to ATWS2018 and had a chance to be recognized as an adventure travel destination with high potential by partners around the globe; it was also the very first time that OriginAL 100% Albanian product brand has been introduced to the public. Over 800 delegates from 67 countries around the world attending the Summit this year, had a chance to tasteOriginAL mountain tea and OriginAL chestnut honey and to take it back to their home countries as gifts in their delegate bags.

Albanian mountain tea is produced by Illyrian Pantheon, a brainchild of Subashi Company that has been known for producing high-quality olive oil in Marikaj, Albania for over a decade. The producer received assistance through Brand Albania project in rebranding and repackaging of the product to offer a new trial size product suitable for promotional as well as souvenir purposes.

Chestnut honey is produced by agricultural cooperative “Reçi Prodhimtar – Malësi e Madhe” known for its high quality chestnuts and chestnut honey, originating in Reç, Malësi e Madhe District, Shkodër County, Northern Albania.

Chestnuts and chestnut honey of Malësi e Madhe region have previously obtained a legal status of “Geographical Indications” in Albania with the support of MADA and Biodiversity Conservation and Valorization: Sustainable rural development in Balkan Mountains project by CIHEAM and Embassy of France in Albania. Chestnut honey product has also received assistance through Brand Albania project in rebranding and repackaging. Currently, the smallest size this product comes in is 1-kilo glass jars. The new packaging is a 100 gram glass jar. Offering this size of product allows for more demand for it on the domestic market, especially from tourists travelling to Albania by low-cost airlines or with carry-ons.

OriginAL (origin-Albania) is a national brand for authentic 100% Albanian food products created by Brand Albania, an initiative by USAID’s Regional Economic Growth (REG) project, in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Tourism and Environment and other private and public stakeholders.

The mission of OriginAL is to catalyze agrotourism by promoting the unique and quality authentic characteristics of select Albanian agriculture products while using the products as “ambassadors” of tourism. Any product that applies for the branding undergoes a thorough examination based on a set of defined criteria to determine whether the OriginAL brand can be awarded, among one of the most important criteria is that a product and/or 100% of all of its ingredients have to originate in Albania.

*Under the auspices of the USAID's Regional Economic Growth (REG) program, USAID/Albania, along with its Local Implementation Partner Creative Business Solutions (CBS), has launched a project to develop a national brand for authentic Albanian food products. The project, through a $500,000
Regional Economic Growth (REG) buy-in, will provide direct technical assistance to the private sector, while encouraging support and collaboration with the Government of Albania's (GoA) to establish "Brand Albania", a brand umbrella organization that promotes local quality products and related tourism initiatives.