EU Sustainable Food & Craft Market champions sustainable SMEs to mark Europe Day
European and Thai vendors showcased a variety of food and craft products to promote a sustainable lifestyle
To celebrate Europe Day 2022, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Thailand partnered with Museum Siam and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to organise the ‘EU Sustainable Food & Craft Market’ on 7 May 2022 at Museum Siam. The event also celebrated the Museum Siam building's 100th anniversary with the ‘New Take on Old Building’ exhibition.
Celebrated on 9 May every year to mark the anniversary of the historic 'Schuman Declaration', considered the birth of what is now the European Union, Europe Day commemorates bringing together European countries and peoples to build peace and prosperity on the continent. Recalling this declaration and the achievements of the EU to date is now more important than ever.
Europe Day 2022 was a momentous opportunity to highlight EU solidarity in responding to crises, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. It was also an opportunity to raise awareness of climate change and the European Green Deal through support for organic farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) spearheading sustainable production.
Held from 10 AM to 8 PM at Museum Siam, the ‘EU Sustainable Food & Craft Market’ welcomed more than 1,000 members of the public – particularly the younger generation interested in health, the environment and European culture– to experience distinct examples of the longstanding EU-Thailand cultural collaboration, all this in full compliance with Thai government sanitary recommendations, ATK tests for all staff, social distancing and registration via the Thai Chana application were conducted.
The free-to-enter market promoted European and Thai culinary diversity, celebrated sustainable producers, and reinforced the importance of organic products as part of a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle – key components of the EU's Farm to Fork Strategy. More than 25 European and Thai SMEs, whose goals align with the sustainable development objectives of the Royal Thai Government and the EU’s European Green Deal, showcased various organic and sustainable food and craft products.
The event also featured three walk-in sustainable workshops, highlighting fun and innovative ways to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle, including:
- Beeswax wrap workshop with SOS Earth co-founder, Thai-Swedish environmental activist Maria Lynn Poonlertlarp, Jareerat Petsom, Miss Earth Thailand and Ambassador of Green World Foundation, and Fashion Revolution: participants brought old cotton clothing items and learned how to transform them into reusable food wraps.
- Eco-soap workshop with Ukrainian-founded Bangkok Soap Opera: participants turned waste oil into natural, scented soap, which they took home.
- Recycling workshop with Precious Plastic Bangkok and Rethinking Plastics: participants discovered how to significantly and easily reduce single-use plastic waste.
Approximately 530 participants – more than half of the total attendees – joined the workshops, while 150 people took part in the quiz held at the Rethinking Plastics booth.
Meanwhile, Museum Siam's centenary celebrations commemorated the European contribution to one of Bangkok’s finest examples of neoclassical architecture. 'New Take on Old Building' charted the history of the heritage property – masterminded by Italian architect Mario Tamagno and a team of European collaborators during the reign of King Vajiravudh – from its beginnings as offices of the Ministry of Commerce through to its current incarnation.
Alongside the photo exhibition, Museum Siam hosted a range of interactive activities as part of the ‘Sao Sanam Chai: Saturday Happening’ series. These included a workshop on the history of architecture and the role of foreign architects in the Kingdom of Siam, an immersive children's walking tour and a performance reenacting milestone moments from the heritage building's past.
The event culminated with the ‘Toast to Europe Day’ ceremony, featuring remarks from the EU and Thai officials and a live outdoor performance from the College of Music, Mahidol University string quartet band, including a rendition of the EU anthem ‘Ode to Joy’.
H.E. Mr David Daly, Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand, was joined by EU Member States’ Ambassadors and Thai representatives – including H.E. Mrs Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Deputy Permanent-Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Chalermpol Chotinuchit, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration – as well as Mr Oleksandr Lysak, Ukrainian chargé d'affaires, and Mr Rames Promyen, Director-General of the National Discovery Museum Institute, Office of Knowledge Management and Development, Office of the Prime Minister, to raise a glass and share a few words on EU-Thailand relations, the significance of Europe Day during these challenging times, and the role a sustainable lifestyle plays in addressing the climate crisis.