The Mountain Partnership Products Initiative: selected as a Best Practice for Expo 2020 Dubai


The Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) Initiative has been selected as one of 25 Best Practices out of 1 175 from around the world to be spotlighted at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Best Practice Programme.

The platform showcases projects that have provided tangible solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. It will highlight simple but effective initiatives that localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can be adapted, replicated and scaled to achieve an enhanced global impact.

“We are very proud to have been selected as one of the 25 Best Practices by Dubai Expo 2020 and we believe this is a tangible recognition of how innovation and sustainable food systems can support mountain communities while adding value to traditional farming systems,” says Giorgio Grussu, coordinator of the project and programme officer of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. “This result shows the strengths of working as a Partnership and we thank the Italian Development Cooperation for their support in improving mountain livelihoods.”

The Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) initiative, funded by the Italian Development Cooperation, supports smallholder farmers in mountains to create enterprises, enhance their marketing skills and boost their livelihoods by improving the value chains of mountain products such as organic food, textiles and tourism services.

It promotes short value chains and ensures transparency and trust between producers and consumers as well as fair compensation for the farmers, conservation of agrobiodiversity and ancient techniques.

The MPP initiative has developed a participatory certification and labelling scheme for small mountain producers from developing countries. It is currently operational in eight countries - Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Panama, the Philippines and Peru - and will soon launch in four other countries: Guatemala, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Rwanda, thanks to a new collaboration with the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme. 

The MPP narrative label tells the story of each product, enabling consumers to make informed purchases by learning about products’ origins and cultivation, processing and preservation methods, nutritional value and role in local cultures.

Goods marketed under the MPP label include stingless bee honey from the Bolivian Andes and pink and purple rice cultivated by farmers in India’s Himalayas, as well as tea, coffee, pulses and textiles.

In partnership with IFOAM Organics International, EcorNaturasi and Slow Food, the MPP initiative is able to provide technical and marketing support to often marginalized mountain communities.  So far, 10 000 farmers - of which 6 000 are women - have benefited from this initiative and the labelling scheme has, in some cases, contributed to an increase in the selling price of 25 percent and an increase in production of 40 percent in only two years.

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