A cross-disciplinary, transnational and participative approach to Alpine food cultural heritage

06/10/2018 Alpine Space AlpFoodway project midterm conference in Innsbruck

Explain AlpFoodway work, its objectives and the results it has reached so far; taking the discussion one step further, together with the Tyrolean presidency of EUSALP, to verify what Alpine administrations and EUSALP can do to protect and valorise food cultural heritage. These are the objectives the meeting that took place on October 4th in Innsbruck pursued. The conference was organised by the AlpFoodway projet together with EUSALP AG6 Leaders (Alpine Convention & Land Kärnten) and EUSALP Tyrolean Presidency to reflect on the strategies for listing the Alpine “foodway” in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The event was opened by professors Dr. h.c. mult. Tilmann Märk, Rector of the University of Innsbruck and Dr. Matthias Bank, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management, followed by Florian Mast, EUSALP Tyrolean Presidency, Marianna Elmi, Deputy Secretary General of the Alpine Convention, Co-Leader of EUSALP Action Group 6, and Cassiano Luminati, Polo Poschiavo, AlpFoodway Lead Partner.

The AlpFoodway partners presented the results of project activities in four thematic areas together with the presentation of good alpine practices: “Safeguarding Alpine Food Cultural Heritage”, presented by Renata Meazza, Lombardy Region, Italy, who interviewed Giuseppe Giovannoni, breeder of goats in Val Lessina, Sondrio, Italy; The commercial  Valorisation of Alpine Food Cultural Heritage”, presented by Diego Rinallo, Kedge Business School, Marseille, France, who interviewed Albino Mazzolini, Consorzio salvaguardia del Bitto Storico, Val Gerola, Italy and Emma Marveggio, Restaurant Sciatt à Porter, Milan, Italy; “Implementing what we learned: development of successful integrated value chains based on valorization of Alpine Food Cultural Heritage”, presented by Thomas Bausch, University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany, who interviewed Susanne Lengger, Pfaffenwinkel, Bavaria, Germany, Tina Brlogar, Ratece, Slovenia and Silvia Vuillermin, Aosta Valley, Italy; “Networking: empowering people, communities and institutions” presented by Saša Poljak Istenič, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts ZRC-SAZU, who interviewed Irena Lacen Benedicic, Director of Upper Sava Valley Museum Jesenice and the Slovenian Alpine Museum, Slovenia, and Laura Saudin, Departement of education and Culture, Autonomous Region of Valle d'Aosta, Italy.

Later Saša Poljak Istenič introduced the AlpFoodway Charter of the Alpine Food Cultural Heritage” that, after an extensive work of sharing among the 14 partners of the European project, in the coming months will be disseminated in the form of online petition among institutions, businesses and citizens of 7 countries close to the Alps to gather the widest possible support for the UNESCO application of the Alpine food culture. AlpFoodway Project Manager Cassiano Luminati (Polo Poschiavo), presented the online awareness-raising and participation platform where it is possible to sign the Charter and help Alpine food heritage get listed in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The meeting closed with a round table on “Cultural, scientific and policy perspectives on the inclusion of the Alpine Foodway in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage” involving several international stakeholders like Josef Geisler, Vice-President of Land Tyrol and Tyrolean Minister of Agriculture (Innsbruck, Austria); Prof. Thomas Streifeneder, EURAC, Co-Leader of EUSALP Action Group 6, Sub-group “Future oriented farming and forestry” (Bolzano, Italy); Elena Di Bella, Mountain and Typical Products Development Service, Città Metropolitana di Torino (Torino, Italy); Dominik Flammer, Food writer, author of “The Culinary Heritage of the Alps” (St. Gallen, Switzerland); Gianluca Cepollaro, STEP, Scuola per il Governo del Territorio e del Paesaggio della Provincia Autonoma di Trento, representing Fondazione Edmund Mach (San Michele all’Adige, Italy).

During the round table, participants highlighted the importance of local communities involvement in this process and the richness of Apine biodiversity, as two pillars on which the inscription of the Alpine food culture on the Unesco Intangible Heritage List application could rest.