Q: What is the Missouri Regional Cuisines Project?
A: The Missouri Regional Cuisines Project (MRCP) seeks to market Missouri wine and food products using labels of origin from distinct ecological regions. Labels of origin — also called geographic indications — have been used for centuries in European countries, allowing the consumer to distinguish among the unique tastes and attributes of products from different areas.
This identification of Missouri’s products will mean greater recognition and economic opportunities for our state’s food producers, tourism industry, and rural communities. The MRCP was developed in 2003 by Dr. Elizabeth Barham, Professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The concept behind is project as summarized by Dr. Barham as follows:
“…regionalization can be an important way to proactively counter impacts of globalization by building a critical mass of interconnected businesses that, together, can map a strategy for their future. While a single small or medium-sized business acting alone cannot put into motion the partnerships with government and education….a viable network of regional businesses connected across sectors can.”
- Promote sustainable rural development
- Foster an appreciation for regional rural identity
- Increase local cooperation among producers, marketers, and community entities
- Develop new economic opportunities for rural regions faced with globalizing markets
Q: How many Regional Cuisines Organizations are there in Missouri?
A: There are four Regional Cuisines Organizations taking part in the MRCP. They are the Mississippi River Hills Association, Old Trails Region, Missouri Rhine Valley Association, and the Missouri River Bluffs Association.
Q: When was the Missouri River Bluffs Association Organized?
A: The first MRBA Regional Cuisines Planning Meeting was held in October of 2008.
Q: How often does the MRBA membership meet?
A: The MRBA membership meets every other month for a potluck or catered dinner with a featured speaker. Click here for a schedule of upcoming meetings.