Shift360 is pleased to announce the official signing of an MoU between the Royal Government of Cambodia and Shift360 Foundation. The MoU signifies the partnership between the two entities as they start the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. Please find the official press release below (translated from Italian):


Press Release 

Visit of the Minister of Tourism of Cambodia in Ticino, Switzerland



LUGANO, Switzerland March 8, 2011 – The Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Dr. Thong Khon, accompanied by a delegation of seven ministerial delegates are expected in Ticino for a semi-official visit March 13-16 to sign an MOU with the School of Hotel and Tourism (SSAT) in Bellinzona and Swiss Foundation Shift360. The signing of the MoU will mark the cooperation between these three entities in their intent to start the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) in Cambodia, an initiative born out of the strong collaboration between the private sector, the Cambodian government and civil society.


Given the long experience and tradition in the field of Swiss catering and hotel service, a feature of this project is to promote exchange and training between SSAT and the RACA, thus giving a double opportunity for faculty and students from both countries to grow professionally and culturally. In order to promote professionalism and education among all segments of the population including the poor and marginalized, a scholarship program will be organized. The highlight of the visit of the senior Cambodian representatives will be the signing of the agreement, with the approval and direct support of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. The signing will take place Tuesday, March 15th at 18:00 at Villa Pedotti, adjacent to Government House in Bellinzona, with the participation of the Ticino State Council, Mr Gabriel Gendotti.

Afterwards there will be a gala dinner at the renowned restaurant Castelgrande Bellinzona; the dinner will be organized by students from SSAT as part of their dissertations and will feature elements from both Cambodia and Ticino, Switzerland- from music and ballet to the menu prepared for the event. Present at the gala dinner, in addition to the local authorities, will be distinguished guests from the business and cultural world as well as supporters of the canton of Ticino.

Additionally, on Tuesday, March 15 at 9:00am there will be a press conference attended by representatives of the Department of Education Culture and Sport, Shift360 and SSAT. Following the press conference will be a report by Minister Dr. Thong Khon at the Auditorium of the University of Italian Switzerland on “The role of Cambodian tourism in ASEAN” attended by tour operators in Canton Ticino, teachers, students and other representatives from industry groups and the tourism sector from Swiss Ticino.

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is a social enterprise and seeks to involve entrepreneurs, institutions, philanthropists and private organizations that want to invest in various ways, in an initiative that is profitable not only for those who receive help but also for those who invest. Social Entrepreneurship goes beyond simple donation or charity, but seeks the backing of investors willing to put capital and resources into real business projects that have the primary purpose of creating social impact.

It is on this same principle that  Shift360 was born. Shift360 is a foundation created by Pierre Tami, along with a few local supporters, whose goal is to raise investment for new projects of this kind, such as the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. Mr Tami, along with his wife, Simonetta, have an established reputation in this field. Nearly twenty years ago they founded Hagar International, a humanitarian organization that has developed a variety of social businesses over the years, providing training and employment for women rehabilitated from backgrounds of violence and prostitution. As part of their reintegration process, these social businesses have provided the women opportunity for employment through the production of soy milk at Hagar Soya, in the manufacture of silk accessories at Hagar Design, and in the catering business at Hagar Catering.

Shift360 is an extension of this work and seeks to promote social entrepreneurship by supporting people living on the edge of society who often lack opportunities for training and employment. Creating the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in Cambodia is part of that goal to promote dignity, social justice and economic empowerment.