As the first activity and its deliverable have been completed, partners of WP2 started working on field studies of relevant cases of success in the commercial valorisation of Alpine Food ICH.
At the moment, 24 field studies are underway and a total of 35 interviews with key informants were carried out by researchers. Ongoing field studies involve several “hotspots” across the Alps such as Savoy (FR), Bauges Massif Regional Natural Park (FR), Val d’Aosta (IT), Valtellina (IT), Val Poschiavo (CH), Tyrol (AT), Canton Valais (CH), Bavaria (DE), Soča Valley (SLO), Brda (SLO).
Examples of developed cases include the “Association for Traditional Cheeses of Savoy” (AFTAlp) in Savoy (FR), and the “Stanzer Zwetschke” – plum production- in Tyrol (AT).
Preliminary findings showed the role of bottom-up involvement strategies in developing collective marketing activities, and safeguarding Alpine Food ICH’s authenticity. Further analysis will try to better understand the role of PDO’s and other certifications in the Alpine food ICH valorisation practices, to explore the coexistence of different production systems (industrialised vs heritage producers), and to reconstruct the internal and external processes that facilitate Alpine Food ICH commercial valorisation practices.
In addition, a preliminary digital ethnography analysis on Aosta Valley ICH has been started, with the aim to reconstruct consumers’ images of (and market responses to) Aosta Valley Food ICH on online social networks (i.e. Instagram) The analysis will attempt to understand the meanings consumers attribute to Alpine Food Heritage and to what extent it can become a source of differentiation in today’s hypercompetitive market.