Culinary Arts and Hospitality Association (CAHA) is a culinary and hospitality sector cluster for Northeastern Bulgaria. It was established at the end of 2011 in Dobrich, Bulgaria with the key objective to contribute to the development of comprehensive high value-added tourist products in its region of operation and to build a lasting and strong relationship between education and business in support of regional economic development and social cohesion.
The Cluster was initially established by ten organizations from Bulgaria:
- business enterprises,
- relevant non-governmental organizations,
- education and training institutions at different levels of education (higher education, secondary education and vocational education and training).
Since then, more than 20 new members have joined and more are in the process of applying for membership.
In view of achieving its mission and goals, CAHA implements activities in several directions, incl.:
- raises awareness of culinary and hospitality innovations – through trainings and events – urges business to adopt and implement them;
- promotes a genuine “Get Local” approach, supporting the development of integrated culinary production chains (local products, local chefs and traditional local recipes yet realized with the help of innovative cooking technologies and techniques);
- pays heightened attention to rural areas smaller towns, in particular by organizing awareness raising events with the participation of local producers of foodstuffs and culinary production and representatives of local tourist sites.
- works with local and regional authorities, advocating for legislative changes in support of local producers and rural tourist sites.
The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Association supports the economic development of the region through organization of staff trainings, transfer of expertise and know-how, promotion of innovations and product diversification in the fields of tourism and culinary arts, encouragement of the use of advanced technologies, social media and IT resources, promotion of rigorous quality standard, etc. In view of contributing to the development of the right skills and to the creation of new jobs in the hospitality and culinary sector, the Cluster promotes innovations by facilitating the knowledge-transfer links between training institutions and business entities operating in the sector or in other related sectors.
CAHA has developed an ambitious long-term strategy for its future activities based on assessment of the needs of its members and the broader culinary and hospitality sectors in Northeastern Bulgaria.