Costa Cruises’ path to a sustainable food experience is facilitated by its partnership with UNISG - Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo. We are sharing our diverse experiences and competencies in order to promote a sustainable food model for the first time in the cruise industry. Conveying the value of the Italian and Mediterranean culinary tradition is part of our Company’s DNA and this goes beyond the mere definition of food&wine offerings. This is why we set up a partnership with an academic institution engaged in the pursuit of excellence and the fostering of a culture of fine food. An integral part of the program, which involves tackling key issues like the need to ensure a balanced diet and reduce food waste, is to raise the awareness of food issues by directly involving customers and crew.

Food and eating are a central part of life and a vital aspect when it comes to choosing a cruise vacation. This agreement will enable us to further enhance Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, offering our guests the pleasure of enjoying food that not only tastes good but is also good for you.
Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba
This collaboration allows us to shape processes and patterns of food production and catering through our holistic approach and it can also provide further food for thought (so to speak) with a view to replicating similar experiences and creating new challenges in the field.
Silvio Barbero, Vice President, Università di Scienze Gastronomiche

The content of the Partnership

Divided into several steps, the program starts by further refining the shipboard food preparation processes and has the set objective of developing a food&beverage service with a focus on wholesome ingredients and selection of the best producers of the ingredients used in terms of quality, ethics and sustainability. The choices made will prioritize seasonal produce and local suppliers (also with regard to the gradual integration on board of foods that are less predominant in our daily intake, such as cereals and legumes). The local roots of foodstuffs will also be at the center of a program of shore tours designed to allow guests to discover local culinary traditions and meet producers who are models of sustainable excellence.
Conveying the value of food in a very multicultural setting like the one on board our ships demands the direct involvement of guests and crew by means of consciousness raising and specific training programs. We are determined to raise awareness of the need for healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle also when you are on vacation because it is linked to our mission of combining pleasure and wellbeing on a cruise. For this reason we will work with UNISG to arrange dedicated training courses for our staff engaged in delivering the shipboard food experience and also provide information to cruisers about the principles of healthy eating and a balanced diet.

Initial results: Pizza made with sourdough

Introduced initially on the Costa Diadema and then gradually extended fleetwide, pizza made exclusively with sourdough is the first tangible result of this project. This type of naturally leavened dough makes the pizza crust easier to digest and improves its nutritional properties. As regards the supply chain, we have chosen two highly qualified Italian flour producers: Molino Casillo and Molino Varvello 1888, while the tomato used is San Marzano DOP.
Completion of this path fostering the culture of pizza preparation will be in the form of a specific training program for Costa’s pizza chefs, taught by instructors from UNISG’s Alto Apprendistato del Pane at Pollenzo, where the theoretical part dealing with how to make pizza using sourdough will be supported by lessons in chemistry, microbiology and food technology.