Mountain Partnership Products selling in Nepal


Over 2 000 kilograms of Jumla’s Mixed Beans, a product involved in the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative, have been sold at BhatBhateni supermarkets in Nepal. Jumla’s Mixed Beans are a traditional mixture of black, red, yellow and spotted beans from the Jumla District of Nepal in the Himalayan region. The price of the beans has been increased by 10 Nepalese rupees per kilogram for the added value of the Mountain Partnership Product label.

Designed to promote mountain products and empower small-holder mountain producers in developing countries, the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative, funded by the Italian Development Cooperation, responds to the rise in global demand for quality, high-value products from mountain areas to improve livelihoods and boost local economies. The Mountain Partnership Products label focuses on mountain goods that support local biodiversity and sustainable production methods that are linked to the cultural traditions of mountain communities. Each individual mountain food, beverage or handicraft involved in the initiative bears the label, telling its own unique story so that consumers can more readily see its mountain origin, quality and value.

Jumla's Mixed Beans on sale with the Mountain Partnership Product label“The producers are happy to see their products with the Mountain Partnership Product label, as they feel their products are being upgraded,” said Umesh Lama, Chairman of Organic World and Fair Future (OWF), an eco-social company that facilitates pro-poor inclusive value chain development for Nepali mountain products. “They also realize that the label has proven to be a good tool for distinguishing their products from fake products with the same name, available for a cheaper price, which often overwhelm the market and create confusion among customers.”

Jumla’s Mixed Beans are an indigenous food, linked to the local culture and religious festivities of Sinja Valley, Jumla District – one of the most remote mountain areas in the northwestern part of Nepal. For example, when local Newari farmers celebrate “Janai purne”, the end of the rainy month and beginning of the cold season, they cook a typical mixed bean soup called “Kuwati”. The beans are cultivated manually and without mechanical inputs. In spite of their traditional and environmentally friendly production process, Jumla’s Mixed Beans are under the threat of being replaced by more productive crops.

Customers and store employees have also reacted positively to the Mountain Partnership Product label. “It gives customers the feeling that they are purchasing something special from the store. Others responded that they experienced the original flavour of the beans, which they had been missing,” said Umesh. “The owner of the BhatBhateni Supermarket and employees appreciated the label and the association ensuring greater value of the product. They said that they welcome such value-added products in their store, as it is a win-win for all parties involved in the value chain.”

Small-scale mountain producers and associations in developing countries are eligible to participate in the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative. Those who wish to apply can download the terms and conditions for the use of the label and the application form.

Read more 

Watch the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative video 

Photos: Umesh Lama

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