AlpFoodway Final Community Forum: the Alps meet in Milano in the name of food heritage
On Tuesday 29 October, during the #AlpFoodway Final Community Forum, organized at Palazzo Lombardia in Milan by Lombardy Region and Polo Poschiavo, Canton Grigioni, AlpFoodway partners presented their project results and the guidelines to turn food related techniques and traditions into elements of a sustainable development strategy for the Alps.
Within the project, anthropologists, territorial animators and communities have worked together to identify and describe the 150 most relevant traditional practices, which have become part of a choral and transnational story within the online archive www.intangiblesearch.eu. The project also worked to overcome the contrast between food heritage cultural and economic valorisation: in fact, the latter, provided it is well managed, can help strengthen the former (more on commercial valorisation). The research and pilot actions carried out within AlpFoodway show that, at product level, the key lies in differentiation from similar industrial products, and, at territorial level, lies in shared choices that valorise traditional practices without distorting them.
Now the baton passes to the actors of the Alpine territory: during the event the 14 project partners entrusted them with their own vision, 10 food heritage management strategies consistent with the 2030 United Nations sustainability objectives that will help restore the centrality to the Alps as a model of sustainability, as explained during the meeting by anthropologist Annibale Salsa.
In short, the project co-financed by Interreg Alpine Space ends but the work to consolidate what has been achieved in the Alpine regions involved is only beginning. An important step in this direction is the transnational nomination of the Alpine Food Heritage to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which the project promoted through the publication of a shared Alpine food heritage charter (https://www.alpfoodway.eu/paper/english). Everyone can contribute to the success of the nomination process by signing the petition on http.www.alpfoodway.eu. "This application is special, because it does what it claims," said Harriet Deacon, UNESCO facilitator and Visiting Research Fellow Coventry University, UK. "Not only does the nomination have the credentials to be accepted by UNESCO, but it can become a model for others, for the presence of a transnational inventory and for its truly participatory approach".
To conclude the event, a few communities from the Aps brought eleven traditional food-related practices to Piazza Città di Lombardia. Here, guests and conference attendees were able to learn about the ancient varieties of apples, discover the use of wild herbs in various parts of the Alps, understand the techniques to build barrels or dry stone walls, see how butter is made on the mountain pasture and how pork is processed and finally taste Alpine breads and traditional recipes.
Programme and other event materials
ALPFOODWAY FINAL COMMUNITY FORUM PROGRAMME
When and where: October 29, 2019, Palazzo Lombardia - Milan
Morning programme in Auditorium Testori