MP Products launched at Terra Madre


The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) will be presenting the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. This initiative is designed to promote mountain products and empower mountain smallholders and producers in developing countries. The initiative will be presented during the session “Living in the mountains”, taking place in Turin, Italy on 24 September. The participants, including Mountain Partnership members from Bolivia, India and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (IADC) and the National Union of Mountain Municipalities, Communities and Councils (UNCEM), will discuss strategies for sustainable development in mountain regions and for promoting youth employment.

The initiative is part of the Mountain Partnership (MP) project “Climate Change and Mountain Forests” funded by the Government of Italy and implemented in collaboration with Slow Food, which has already attracted new donors including the in-kind contribution from Switzerland.

“Italy is a long-time supporter of the Mountain Partnership, the United Nations alliance that definitely concentrates its attention on the needs of mountain peoples, at a global level and with action on the ground. These communities often live in remote and fragile environments and are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, as shown by a recent Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) survey, but they also developed amazing solutions to overcome these constraints. Mountain products hold an enormous potential for improving local wellbeing and livelihoods if we work together to prove and safeguard the properties of such products, thus to support their distribution and sale, notably in national and regional markets,” said Mauro Ghirotti, IADC food security and environmental officer.

The Mountain Partnership Products Initiative merges the strengths of the MP in addressing mountain-specific challenges and working with a global network of mountain actors with the experience of Slow Food in sustaining quality production, protecting unique ecosystems and recovering traditional processing methods.

Mountain Partnership Products bear a mountain label that aims to highlight the value of mountain foods, beverages and handicrafts by communicating to consumers the value added to unique products by their mountain origin. While the initiative has a global scope, it has initially zoomed into specific regions and products, such as Bolivian black amaranth and Kyrgyz organic dried apricots. In these places, the initiative has already worked on improving the products’ value chains, developing producers’ capacities and promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources in mountain areas.

The remoteness and isolation of mountain areas often impede producers. “Access to markets, extension services, credit and information is crucial for supporting mountain producers,” said Giorgio Grussu, FAO project officer of the initiative. “In addition, the high number of middlemen in the value chain of most mountain products means that producers do not always obtain fair compensation.”

On behalf of Slow Food, General Secretary Paolo Di Croce said, "This collaboration represents a step further in the cooperation between Slow Food and FAO. Promoting food biodiversity and supporting smallholder farmers and producers are crucial actions to improve rural development for the future of mountain areas. We need to reach cultural and economical territories, too often considered marginal. The mountain areas are instead an extraordinary environmental and cultural driving force. They are home to an incredible heritage of ecosystems, plant varieties, animal breeds, cultures and foods.”

“We believe that a mountain label will provide consumers that are interested in high quality products the information they want, enabling them make a more informed purchase and making them incline to pay a premium price,” said Rosalaura Romeo, project officer of the MPS, FAO.

The collaboration is part of a three-year Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and Slow Food to promote more inclusive food and agriculture systems at local, national and international levels. Slow Food joined the Mountain Partnership, the UN alliance dedicated to improving mountain livelihoods and environments, in March 2016.

Read more about the event 

Read more about the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative

Home > mountain-partnership > News