The most important and basic regional brand of Śląskie Voivodeship … is the Śląskie Voivodeship itself.
The region has been promoting its brand most intensively during the last few years, with the message” “Śląskie- Positive Energy”. The region also has its own logo.
The promotion and PR campaigns associated with the building of the brand have most certainly been effective. It appears that the word “energy” is most pertinent for strengthening the local Silesian identity – it is a clear reference to the energy associated with resources and the power industry, as well as to mining as the source of coal for producing energy; on the other hand, the word “energy” also has a human context – the population of the region - open and brave people, full of “power” – of course positive power.
The promotional campaign of Śląskie Voivodeship as a brand became noticed and appreciated. In 2010, the Silesian region (together with the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship) received the main award of the “Złote Formaty” (“Golden Formats”) contest within the framework of the City and Region Promotion Festival. A year later the Silesian brand campaign was honoured in the Mercurius Gedaniensis contest during Tourism Fairs in Gdańsk. Naturally, the building of a regional brand is not restricted to the logo and message alone. Such building blocks also include subsequent editions of the “Marka śląskie” (“Silesian Brand”) contest during which the best and resilient enterprises, institutions, local governments and ventures receive awards.
Fall 2014 marked the fifth edition of this contest during which the following entities received awards and honours: Bank Spółdzielczy (Jastrzębie Zdrój) – services category; Wawrzaszek ISS Sp. z o.o. SK (Bielsko-Biała) (a leading national and European manufacturer of special vehicles, in particular fire-fighting vehicles) – economy category; the same company also received a distinction in the product category (for the Felix II 8x8 emergency vehicle); Park Tradycji Górnictwa i Hutnictwa (Siemianowice Śląskie) (an historical park of mining and metallurgy)– regional cultural heritage category; Park Naukowo-Technologiczny TECHNOPARK GLIWICE Sp. z o.o. (a science and technology park) – services category; Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Miejskiej Sp. z o.o. a (a municipal transit company) (Sosnowiec) – social responsibility of business category. Special honours went to the Górnośląska Agencja Przedsiębiorczości i Rozwoju Sp. z o.o. (Upper Silesian Entrepreneurship and Development Agency).
It is worth mentioning that “Marka Śląskie” is the brainchild of the Regional Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Gliwice. The Marshall of the Śląskie Voivodeship is the chairperson of the awarding committee.
The region appreciates and is proud of innovative ventures.
Enterprises and institutions striving for increasing innovativeness and competitiveness of the Voivodeship are honoured by the INNOLESIA brand. This project consists of two contests, co-financed by EU funds from the European Social Fund: “Innovator of Silesia” and “Cooperation between business and science”.
The following companies were awarded within the framework of “Innovator of Silesia”: micro-enterprise category: Labiot-Laboratorium Biotechnologii & Praktyka Lekarska (MAX general associated rehabilitation and diagnostics); small enterprises category: VidCom.pl Sp. z o.o. (e-VideoChat); medium-size enterprises category - ZP Sprzętu Oświetleniowego „ROSA” Stanisław Rosa (a lighting equipment manufacturer) (decorative aluminium poles).
The following is a partial list of winners of the “Cooperation between business and science”
contest: Silesian Technical University in Gliwice (for designing the method and construction of a device for measuring the local thermal conductivity of anisotropic materials); Instytut Techniki Górniczej KOMAG (KOMAG Institute of Mining Technology) (for the PCA-1 PCA-1 suspended battery drive train); and Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociągów i Kanalizacji Sp. z o.o. (a municipal waterworks utility company) in Rybnik for the following project: “Innovative sewage residue management with a view of satisfying the requirements under EU Directives governing the environment and power industry”).
The Office of the Marshall of the Śląskie Voivodeship - as a part of the Quality Policy- satisfied the international requirements of the PN – EN ISO 9001: 2009 standard. The region’s enterprises hold an even greater number of the relevant international (including EU) certificates. Accordingly, Fiat Auto Poland (Tychy) received the ISO 9001 certificate already in 1996 (as the first automotive plant in Europe to receive this certificate completely – from production to post-sales services).
During subsequent years, the company received the following certificates: ISO 14001 – environmental management (2001), quality management ISO 9001:2000 (2002), ISO 9001:2009 (2008) Energy and Greenhouse Gases Management ISO 50001 (2012). The company also received the EFQM Excellence Award in 2006, and in 2013- the Gold Medal from World Class Manufacturing (WCM) – for the highest degree of implementing integrated business management in accordance with the highest world standards.
The majority of other thriving Silesian businesses hold numerous certificates, titles and awards.
Certain products manufactured within the Śląskie Voivodeship are registered with the EU and enjoy protected status due to their name, place of origin or traditional method.
Accordingly, the oscypek cheese, produced from sheep milk according to a traditional recipe in Silesia and in Małopolska is marked with the Protected Designation of Origin symbol. Made out of sheep milk, it is formed into the shape of a whetstone, double-sided cone or spindle, decorated with various patterns. Known and appreciated already since the XVIII century.
Furthermore, the kołocz pieczony (a type of yeast cake with a butter-like fragrance, with many types of stuffing) is in the EU Protected Geographical Indication register. What is more interesting, this cake, known in the region since the Middle Ages, was not only a plain foodstuff, but also had ritual significance – it was baked and given as a present only during exceptional occasions, such as wedding parties).
The Silesia region also holds the high third rank in the country as to the number of traditional products registered by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture. According to data as at fall 2014, 137 such products originate from the Śląskie Voivodeship (Podkarpackie Voivodeship – 172, and Pomorskie Voivodeship – 156).
Traditional Silesian products are more and more often sought by consumers, and it is therefore obvious that a greater number of producers are soliciting the registration of their products, which is beneficial to them and for the maintenance of local traditions.
The list contains, among dairy products, the kiszka śląska (despite its name which has come to be associated in other Polish regions with cold cuts, this in fact is curd, or sour cow milk, which settles within app. 12 hours in a clay utensil in a cool room; this is an excellent supplement to young potatoes and other hot meals, and on hot days – a dense cooling beverage).
When it comes to meat products, one simply cannot overlook the krupniok śląski. It is prepared from giblets, blood and buckwheat, as well as spices. This is a cold cut formed into 25 cm bars. Its taste values were the subject of writings already in the XIX century.
As for fish products on the Ministry’s list, the karp gołyski (Gołyski carp) is an interesting item. This is a smaller and much more delicate (in taste) variety of the carp than the common type. The history of its breeding goes back as far as the XIII century. It can be found only in the breeding waters situated in Gołysz and at its vicinity (Cieszyn County). It is also bred at the Polish Academy of Sciences Experimental Establishment in Gołysz.
As for fruit, “pieczki śląskie” must be mentioned. These are dried fruit from fruit trees, popular primarily in the Cieszyn area for a very long time. They were picked and dried during fall as additional winter supplies. They are used during the Christmas period for making a delicious kompot. They were also given to children on their way to school as a sweet, healthy and nourishing snack.
Among traditional baked and sweet products, tatarczuch bread is quite interesting. It is baked with the use of milk, water and yeast from buckwheat flour (also known as tartar flour, when it became known in the region in early medieval times when buckwheat seeds and growing were disseminated by Tartars, or Mongols). Tatarczuch, dark and sweet bread, retains its freshness for even one week.
One of the regional dishes and courses, mysteriously called the … swallow nest, a most original delicacy. This is a pork roulade, or to be more exact – ham or pork-chop roulade, rolled up, fried and braised. It is stuffed with one hard boiled egg or a half of such an egg. The “nest’s” particular feature is a thread track left after the thread used for forming the meat into its traditionally rolled oval shape.
The tatarczówka is a traditional regional alcoholic beverage. This is a bitter-sweet vodka, based on acorales, collected on the banks of numerous Silesian ponds. Special therapeutic properties have been attributed to the liquor, as well as the to acorales root. It also had ritual significance. It became customary on Good Friday just before Easter to drink a small amount of this vodka after bathing in memory of the passion of Jesus Christ – we can read in ethnographic discourses that “one had to win oneself over to swallow a view drops of this elixir, far more bitter than wormwood- in memory that Christ was offered wine laced with myrrh at the cross”.