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New label for mountain products puts premium on biological and cultural diversity
Tuesday, 2016/10/04 | 08:06:15

FAO and Slow Food team up to boost market access for highland producers


Figure: A display of products carrying the Mountain Partnership Product Label


FAO 30 September 2016, Rome— FAO's Mountain Partnership and Slow Food have launched a voluntary product label for mountain goods that's meant to improve market access for small highland producers from developing countries and highlight mountain products as distinct and sustainable.


The new label places a premium on goods that support local biodiversity and production methods that are linked to the cultural traditions of mountain communities. Products carrying the mountain label will be available in national markets, organic stores and specialty shops.


Among the flagship products that are part of the first phase of the Mountain Partnership Products initiative are apricots grown in the remote mountainous region of Batken in Kyrgyzstan and rare black amaranth grain produced in the Bolivian Andes. A variety of other goods ranging from coffee to tea and spices from different mountain areas of developing countries will also be marketed under the new label, which will be available free of charge to mountain producers following a review of their products and production methods.


By giving mountain products a distinguishable brand, the labeling scheme will help local producers win market recognition by guaranteeing that products are predominantly produced and transformed in mountain areas and come from small-scale production respectful of local ecosystems. The scheme - which producers submit to voluntarily -- is also designed to ensure fair returns for producers and the equitable distribution of profits along the entire value chain.


"We believe that a mountain label will attract consumers that are interested in high quality and environmentally sound products and give them the information they need to make conscious choices about the values, methods and communities they want to support with their purchases," said Rosalaura Romeo, program officer of the FAO's Mountain Partnership Secretariat. The MP oversees the initiative with financial backing from the Italian Development Cooperation.


See more: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/440360/icode/

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