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2021 Good Design Gold Award
- Taitung Slow Food Festival

This year, the Taitung Slow Food Festival won the “BEST 100” and the Japanese “Good Design Gold Award (GDA).” The awards are expected to be presented online on November 2. The GDA review found that the Taitung Slow Food Festival has inspired the confidence of local stores and communities in terms of their food, crops, origin, and culture. Locals now feel empowered and even call on friends and partners to join the slow food movement.

The Japanese Good Design Award is as famous as the German Red Dot and iF Design Award. International companies and organizations compete for this prestigious distinction. Bringing about a more abundant and prosperous world are the criteria for winning this award which is known as the “Design Oscars of the East.”
Slow food is an international grassroots movement which began in Italy. Its core values are “good, clean and fair.” The event emphasizes social values through food by chefs, foodies and consumers alike. In the beginning, Taitung local stores, chefs, and planning teams were hesitant. Now, many Taitung residents are devoting themselves to studying how to make a truly local and friendly diet.

The Taitung Slow Food Festival originated from Taitung’s clean and friendly agricultural products. “Farm-to-table” events that started in the East Rift Valley in 2012 followed by the “savor local and seasonal food” movement which appeared in 2015. In 2017, these events were expanded and officially renamed the “Taitung Slow Food Festival.” The festival has held 12 events so far, with a total of nearly 38,000 people participating, connecting more than 140 stores, and having over 97.6% customer satisfaction. It has become a brand-name event with sustainable concepts in Taitung County.

All participants must bring their own tableware. Slow food events must not produce disposable waste, and do their best to protect the environment. Travelers from Thailand, Hong Kong, and Malaysia have also joined the festival with their own utensils. Subsequent initiatives have also indirectly contributed to Taitung's promotion of "natural and sustainable economic model" and "slow economic" industrial development policies.
For these reasons, the Taitung Slow Food Festival received the GDA special gold award. This is particularly meaningful because Japan’s regional activities started earlier and were richer and more diverse than Taiwan’s. Taitung won this great honor which indeed gave Taitung credible international affirmation.

The Taitung County Government stated that the award ceremony will be held on November 2 at 12 noon (Taiwan Time) via livestream. At that time, the Taitung County Government and slow food stores will gather to celebrate their accomplishments as well as letting the world see the slow, steady strength of Taitung.

Slow Economy Conference

World leaders and everyday people across the globe are caught up in the pressing struggle between economic development and environmental sustainability. As global temperatures climb and sea levels rise, finding a solution to this issue is paramount.

From November 11 to 13, the Taitung County Government will host the 2021 International Slow Economy Conference. During the conference, speakers from around the world will explore how communities can remain economically abundant while respecting the natural environment.

Therefore, the organizers centered this three-day event around three themes: the Slow-living Movement, Vibrant Community and Sustainable Retreat Travel. Through these meaningful topics, speakers will focus on the viability of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) vis a vis substantial economic growth.

Thursday’s event will feature a speech from Taitung Magistrate April Yao on the slow economy. In particular, Yao will elaborate on how Taitung has adhered to the UN SDGs while creating meaningful economic opportunities.

Following Yao, Goncalo Hall, co-founder of a digital nomad community on the Madeira Islands, will share his experience in creating an alternative relationship between work and leisure. Hall collaborated with the local government to create a digital nomad hub for remote workers from around the world. Now, people from all backgrounds can bring their inspiring projects to Madeira and find a healthy work-life balance.

Later in the day, the conference will organize a panel discussion on the Slow Living Movement. Several panelists from a variety of different backgrounds will discuss their experience in actualizing sustainable lifestyles. The event is particularly honored to have Tammy Turner, a permaculture expert with years of experience in environmentally friendly farming practices.

On Friday, the conference will focus on creating vibrant communities and promoting sustainable travel. The day will start off with workshops in the morning followed by a speech from Sakae Okamoto, Mayor of Iga-Shi, Japan. Okamoto will share his experience developing sustainable communities through partnerships between government and civic groups.

In the evening, there will be a panel discussion regarding ecotourism and sustainable development. Josh Campbell, one of the panelists and founder of Taiwanderful, will bring his expertise on community development through recycling initiatives. Campbell’s company has brought together education, sustainability and art to make Donghe, Taitung a more pleasant and connected place to live. The panel will also host speakers from New Zealand and Thailand, which will provide an exciting platform for international exchange on sustainability initiatives.

The final day of the conference will address the theme of sustainable retreat travel. The morning will feature workshops from various members of Taitung’s eclectic community. Activities will range from outdoor yoga classes to crafts workshops and foot massage sessions.

The 2021 International Slow Economy Conference will bring together people from around the world to share their views on culture and respecting the environment. Through learning from each other, participants will go home inspired to continue contributing to sustainable development by earning a living in healthy and fulfilling ways.

Indigenous Food Festival

Taitung County is well-known around Taiwan for its amazing cuisine. In Taitung, a wide variety of fresh seasonal ingredients meets the culinary imagination of people from different backgrounds, in particular 7 of Taiwan’s 16 indigenous tribes.

The indigenous community of Taitung channels tradition into contemporary tastes through inventive cuisine. On October 9 and 10, TTStyle Food Festival took place near Tiehua Fantasy Village. This groundbreaking event brought together twenty chefs from around the county to introduce indigenous culture to a wider audience through culinary tasting sessions.

During the event, participants used their tastebuds to visit indigenous communities all over Taitung. The organizers broke each day up into different themes giving participants a chance to delve deep into a particular part of Taitung’s indigenous culture.

For instance, the first session on Friday focused on Bunun culinary heritage. Kanasui, a restaurant from Wuling, Taitung, served Bunun traditional cuisine such as millet wraps and grilled pork. More importantly, Kanasui’s fourth-generation owner shared his vision of revitalizing his community and traditional agriculture through collective farming, dining and sharing.

At the event, the indigenous community also shared their heritage through their traditional arts and design. Kaiana, an indigenous weaving workshop, led a class on basket weaving using ginger shell leaves. This gave participants a chance to make their own basket that hunters would take into the mountains during long trips to catch game.

Even though the event centered around tradition, there were plenty of indigenous interpretations of contemporary cuisine. The last session included two indigenous Paiwan restaurants, LI.KA Café and Bulai. At the event, they showcased their refined takes on cream puffs, cinnamon rolls and walnut cake. These bold entrepreneurs are doing more than just making dessert. They are pushing the boundaries on what people think is possible for indigenous cuisine.

Even if you missed the event, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy indigenous food in Taitung. TTstyle Food is hosting daily culinary tours through their website Participants can sign up for $1980 to try diverse indigenous cuisine, attend workshops and see a different side of Taitung.

Coming Events

Nov Dec
  • 2021 Nanhui Art Project Sicevudan- Forward From Here
  • 2021 Taiwan Open of Surfing
  • 2021 International Slow Economy Conference
  • Taitung Hakka Festival
  • 2021 Chenggong Swordfish and Navel Orange Festival
  • 2021 Taiwan Pasiwali Festival
  • 2021 Loving 197 East Coast Bike Race
* PLEASE NOTE: Event dates are subject to change or cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please also refer to the websites of specific events for more information.