Upcoming Food Tour to Basque Country

Unai Nafarrete, Writer

Basque Country: Food Sovereignty and Cooperative Production. Participants in a previous tour to the Basque Country in the fall stated that the food was their favorite part of the trip. From Food Sovereignty Tours on Vimeo.

A U.S.-based institute for food and development is organizing a trip to the Basque Country in order to explore the culture through food. The trip will take place March 22 to 30 and the deadline for signing up is Feb. 20.

The travelers stay in Basque farmer-owned guesthouses, visit farms in the northern Basque Country, eat in “txokos” (private gastronomy clubs) and ciderhouses, visit fish-farmer markets, taste wine in La Rioja and see other landmarks. In addition, a visit to Mondragón Corporation, one of the most internationally known companies in the Basque Country and in Spain, gives travelers a chance to discuss the economic model, and the future of this type of industry.

Scholars of Food First (Institute for Food and Development Policy) have been around for 37 years, leading the field of policies and development of democratic and healthy food production. The New York Times has endorsed them as one of the ‘most established food think tanks’ in the U.S. In their Food Sovereignty Tours, they analyze the diverse realities of global food systems on one hand, and educate participants on the other hand.

Tasting fresh produce and food in the Basque Country

Basque food and the Basque tradition of the family farm recently became the focus of the group’s trips. In 2013, the Basque Farmers Union EHNE-Bizkaia was a winner of the Food Sovereignty Prize because it continues to be at the forefront of innovative and political food sovereignty approaches. The farmers union offers its more than 6,000 members educational and economic support; its youth program has helped young people return to farming; and it is working to build new relationships between the countryside and regional cities. The prize spotlights grassroots activists working for a more democratic food system.

The cooperative aspect of rural Basque society has been followed and used as model by international institutions in recent years, from the famous collaborative practices of neighboring farms, to the sharing of labor and profit of cooperative food corporations. This trip offers a good insight into the agricultural economy of the Basque Country, as well as delicious tasty food.

Participants in a previous tour to the Basque Country in the fall stated that the food was their favorite part of the trip.The Food Sovereignty Tour in the Basque Country takes participants on a comfortable journey to observe, discuss and taste all of the practices and flavors that represent Basque cuisine.

This project is also presented as a unique educational opportunity for an alternative spring break, research, independent study, or course enrichment for faculty, staff and students alike. The cost of the trip is $2,400 and does not include airfare. Partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualified applicants and college credits might be offered.

Katie Brimm, the program coordinator, encourages everyone who would like to accompany Food Sovereignty Tours in this innovative touristic initiative, to contact them ASAP for further questions and please that note last call for registration is expiring soon.

Click here for more information, price, sample itinerary, and registration:

Contact Information:
Katie Brimm
Program Coordinator, Food Sovereignty Tours
Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy
398 60th St. Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 654-4400 ext. 223