Recognizing Mountain Producers at Terra Madre


Mountain agriculture and how the promotion of mountain products can improve the lives of the mountain communities was discussed at the conference “Mountain producers: preserving tradition, promoting innovation”, held at Terra Madre in Turin, Italy on 21 September

Speakers included Paolo Croce, Secretary General of  Slow Food International, Grammenos Mastrojeni, Coordinator for the Environment of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy, Yuka Makino, Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, Luca Mercalli, scientific journalist, Juri Chiotti chef and Mountain Partnership members Anita Paul, co-founder of Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation and Abigail Chacón Peréz  of Fundation Pasos.  

Grammenos Mastrojeni, who moderated the conference, opened the event saying: “Food is a protective factor towards the ecosystem. It is important to preserve local products and traditions and give people the chance to stay in the mountains where they come from”.

Paolo Croce, Slow Food Secretary General presented in his speech the Slow Food approach and experiences in mountain areas. “The bet here is to invest in sustainability and tradition. Things must change otherwise there is no future. We have many success stories in the world, especially in mountain areas that show this. If we invest in quality we win.” Regarding the collaboration between Slow Food and the Mountain Partnership on mountain products he said: “I really want to thank our friends of the Mountain Partnership with whom we have been working and I’m sure that in two years’ time we will be here with lots more success stories.”

“By joining the Mountain Partnership you will receive not only the label but also training, technical assistance, business development and marketing skills,” said Yuka Makino, Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. She presented the achievements of the Mountain Partnership Products initiative during the last two years and described how in Nepal, a producer organization cultivating mixed beans saw an increase of the market price of their product by 25 percent and a production increase of 40 percent thanks to the use of the Mountain Partnership Products label. 

 “The demand for safe food is rising,” said Anita Paul from the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation. “Small mountain producers can present themselves and say: we are safe food!”. In India, she added, niche, high value mountain products are being used by young chefs learning traditional recipes.    

In 2016 the MPS, in collaboration with Slow Food launched a voluntary label for quality mountain products to promote access to markets for small mountain producers in developing countries, while preserving unique, high quality mountain products and encouraging environmental sustainability.  The global mountain label, supported by training in technical, entrepreneurial and marketing of products, allows small producers to obtain fair compensation for their specific quality products as well as help customers make a more informed purchase.

Currently, the initiative has worked with 16 products from seven countries. At Terra Madre three stalls – from Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan and Peru, showcased their products bearing the Mountain Partnership Products label.   

 Photp by Mountain Partnership Secretariat/ Twitter 

More Photos here 

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