MP workshop for global mountain label


‘Mountain products hold immense economic potential to boost sustainable development in mountain regions,’ concluded a group of experts convened by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome, Italy on 20-21 May 2015. The participants, most of whom are Mountain Partnership members with experience and knowledge of marketing mountain products, called for the establishment of a taskforce to devise a roadmap to create labelling scheme to brand high value mountain products.

Organized by the MPS and funded by the Italian Government as part of the MP project, Climate Change and Mountain Forests, and with the technical contribution of the division in charge of Rural Infrastructures and Agroindustries (AGS), the two-day workshop,  “Towards the creation of a global mountain label”, brought together representatives of governments  and non-governmental organizations to strategize on establishing a global label for mountain products.

“Labels - supported by  adequate value chains and marketing strategy - can allow small producers to obtain fair compensation for their specific quality products,” said Emilie Vandecandelaere, FAO expert on labelling.

Mountain communities produce a variety of high-value products such as coffee, honey, herbs and spices, as well as handicrafts, cosmetics and medicines. Further, tourism-related services could also fall under the label. “Creating a territorial  label for mountain high-value products can be an effective strategy to market these products to improve livelihoods while ensuring sustainability of small farmers in mountain areas,” said Rosalaura Romeo, MPS Programme Officer.

The New Common Agricultural Policy in European Union has opened new avenues to further promote mountain products originating from mountain areas in Europe in the frame of food quality schemes – optional quality term “mountain product”, Andreja Borec of  Euromontana explained.

Mountain Partnership members and other experts attending the workshop also agreed that a task force would be established to oversee the creation of this mountain label. A section of the MP website will be dedicated to mountain products to facilitate information and knowledge exchange on mountain products from across the globe will be set up on the Mountain Partnership website where the presentations given during the workshop will be accessible.

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