Sustainability at Candia Maris TUI Magic Life

At Candia Maris TUI Magic Life, sustainable and socially responsible practices are part of our core philosophy.
Local production, local products, and the protagonists – producers play a decisive role in ensuring a sustainable ecosystem, compensating for climate change, having a positive effect on the environment and the well-being of local communities, but also in connecting local culture and production with the authentic hospitality experiences we offer.
At the same time, we believe in creating new employment opportunities for our young people who want to continue living in the region and realize their dreams.
We believe in the need to keep both our land and the intangible cultural heritage intertwined with this land alive.
During recent years, Candia Maris has been implementing the "Sustainable Hotel Farming" and "Sustainable Supplies" programs, which have been awarded internationally and nationally by the TTG Travel Industry Awards and Hellenic Responsible Business Awards.

Soil management and agricultural production: Current key challenges

Soil and rain are vital. It is a fact that soil has been included in the non-renewable resources while initiatives are being taken to validate European legislation to ensure its health.
How we cultivate our lands plays a significant role in the environment and, by extension, in our well-being. The products we consume every day come from the soil. That's why we need to keep it healthy by implementing proper farming practices.
On the other hand, the current challenges are critical, as:
• 1/3 of global greenhouse gas emissions come from our food systems (Food and Agriculture Organization)
• Over 50% of the world's agricultural land is severely affected by land degradation. (National Geographic)
• Food systems are responsible for 80% of biodiversity loss (United Nations Development Program - Food and Agriculture Commodity Systems).
• In the last 50 years, food has lost 60-90% of its nutritional value (Bionutrient Food Association)
• In the next 50 years, there will be no arable land for food production. (World Economic Forum)

Regenerative Agriculture is the way

Regenerative Agriculture is the proper implementation of organic farming to cover its gaps and achieve sustainability.
It reduces production costs, increases the profitability of the crop, and turns the producers into "Observers," providing them with global knowledge of agricultural practices.

Regenerative Agriculture requires:

· Minimum soil disturbance
· Crop rotation to maximize biodiversity in the fields
· Ground cover for natural protection
· Keeping the soil alive all year round
· Integrating livestock into the crop, where possible

At Candia Maris TUI Magic Life, we take action.

We deeply believe that progress can only come through Sustainable Development. That's why, at Candia Maris, we assume our responsibility toward the hospitality industry.
We take action to reduce our environmental footprint, prevent exacerbating climate change, and contribute to a resilient, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system, starting with soil health.
At the same time, we remain true to our philosophy of creating unique experiences that "feel like Greece" through direct experiences with the culture, customs, gastronomy, culture, and history of every place we operate. Thus, we seek to connect sustainable food production with gastronomy, offering healthy food options to the local community & our guests.

Regenerating Lassithi Plateau and its People | Towards a Sustainable food destination

At Candia Maris, we pioneer and innovate once again. We think about global challenges and act locally, practically and purposefully.
We have designed and planned the implementation of the program "Regenerating Lassithi Plateau and its People | Towards a Sustainable Food Destination”, which considers global challenges and prioritizes the environment, local community and economic development.
We lead the way for the transition to Regenerative Agriculture, believing that production in the Lassithi Plateau ecosystem can become sustainable, commercially viable for the producers themselves, and meaningful and supportive for the people of the Plateau.

Collaboration is a prerequisite for the implementation and success of the program.

At Candia Maris, we chose the Lasithi Plateau as the ideal destination for the planning and implementation of the program for a good reason.
The Candia Maris's relationship with the Lasithi Plateau is deeply personal and has been encapsulated in the word "family" for decades.
At the same time, Candia Maris's long relationship with the Plateau is further enhanced, through the Agricultural Cooperative and the producers of the area, who supply the Candia Maris 's hotels with local products.
We recognize the potential of the region's ecosystem and want to protect it. We believe that the Lasithi Plateau can develop into a protected spatial system that merely relies on the carrying capacity of plant and animal production.
In this program, we proceed with the support of local authorities and agencies.
The program is implemented in collaboration with the Lassithi Plateau Agricultural Cooperative. The Cooperative also participates in the Candia Maris 's "Sustainable Supplies" Program. With this new initiative, this collaboration becomes even more strong and meaningful.
The planning and implementation of the Program is achieved with the contribution of Local Food Experts; the Candia Maris 's external partners as regards to sustainable development matters for more than 30 years.

The Program's Milestones

The participation of the agriculturalists - members of the Lassithi Plateau Agricultural Cooperative is a prerequisite that will enable us to take steps towards a new and sustainable form of cultivation. It is the first time such initiative is being carried out in the region.
After the parcels are selected, together with the producers, we will carry out actions for their inclusion in the European regulation 2018|848 concerning organic crops.
In collaboration with the producers and supply and catering departments of the Candia Maris’s, a cropping plan will be decided, including quantities, products and delivery times.
Participants in the program are trained on the implementation of regenerative practices, starting with organic farming in the fields of the Lasithi Plateau.
At the same time, there is a continuous evaluation during the course of implementing regenerative practices and products so that, if needed, changes or redesign of the practices used can be decided.
As previously agreed upon, the quantities of the products produced by the regenerative practices are supplied to the Candia Maris 's to be offered to our guests.

Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits

The " Regenerating Lassithi Plateau and its People | Towards a sustainable food destination" Program, benefits the environment, society and the economy in many ways.

Environment:

· We reduce our environmental footprint to prevent exacerbating climate change and contribute to a resilient, healthy and environmentally friendly food system.
· We allow cultivated land to regenerate so as to perform the essential ecosystem services that provide us with clean air and water, healthy plants and animals, balance and quality.

Society:

· We highlight Crete as a pioneering destination with Regenerative Agriculture practices, promoting a form of agriculture that benefits the environment and represents our philosophy.
· We highlight the Lasithi Plateau as a sustainable food destination.
· We educate producers and inspire younger ones in new, innovative, yet effective regenerative practices.
· We enable the producers of the Lasithi Plateau to receive more recognition through sustainable practices in their crops.

Economy:

· We invest in changing the mindset and business culture of the region, enabling the offer of sustainable food products.
· We directly support the local community financially by absorbing the products in our hotels, thus ensuring the producers' income.
· At the same time, the transition to Regenerative Agriculture will connect participating agriculturalists with food production and the hospitality industry, creating better income opportunities.

At Candia Maris TUI Magic Life, we aspire to accomplish a turning point in Sustainable Development for the hospitality industry.
We take initiatives because we believe that by changing how we cultivate, we improve the quality of the products we consume.
We are sure that the Lasithi Plateau and its people can be an example of Regenerative Agriculture.
We organically connect local production with hospitality services. As a result, the guests of Candia Maris in Crete, have been enjoying holistic sustainable hospitality since 1975.
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