EcorNaturaSí and Mountain Partnership Secretariat to boost rural, mountain

9 July 2020, Rome – EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, hosted by FAO, today joined forces to better the lives of people living in rural areas and fragile ecosystems, such as mountains, forests and islands, and develop more inclusive food and agriculture systems.

The two organizations committed to improving value chains and access to markets for small-scale producers; advocating for the conservation of biodiversity; reducing food loss and waste; and promoting animal welfare.

“This collaboration will benefit vulnerable smallholder producers and their environments. It will help them safeguard and promote their unique food and non-food products, and boost their incomes. And throughout this process, they will learn how to better care for their environments,” said Hiroto Mitsugi, FAO Assistant Director-General

“We are very pleased about this collaboration”, said EcorNaturaSì President Fabio Brescacin “It is perfectly in line with our goals and our approach. Since its foundation, our company has worked very closely with the farmers, aiming to guarantee not only the quality of the products, but also the right price for farmers and consumers”.

EcorNaturaSí produces, distributes and sells organic and biodynamic food products, whilst building farmers’ skills in growing and marketing organic products, guaranteeing fair prices for farmers and equitable value chains for all – from farmers, suppliers to consumers, helping to improve people’s and the planet’s health.

The Mountain Partnership is a United Nations voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world. One of its initiatives – the Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) – promotes the labeling and fair-trading of high quality mountain products – from foods, beverages, medicines, spices to cosmetics – building stronger rural communities and economies whilst safeguarding traditional knowledge and protecting biodiversity.

Through the new agreement, EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat will build on such FAO-led initiatives: MPP, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) by:

• identifying and developing or improving value chains for quality food products

• supporting farmers’ access to broader, international markets and distribution channels

• creating employment opportunities in rural areas

• providing training and capacity development in setting up/developing agri-businesses and facilitating access to financing schemes

• strengthening producers’ organizations and cooperatives, including youth, women and indigenous peoples

• promoting fair-returns for smallholder producers

• promoting sustainable farming that combines traditional knowledge with the use of modern technologies

• improving governance conditions by working with all stakeholders to resolve rights, tenure and other issues

To date, some 10,000 farmers, including 6,000 women, have benefited from the MPP initiative alone, including farmers of purple and pink rice in the Indian Himalayas and producers of stingless bee honey in the Bolivian Andes.

The initiative, which is promoting 20 products in eight countries, has led in some cases to a 25 percent increase in the selling price and nearly a doubling in the production.

EcorNaturaSí is already providing advice on a range of areas – from identifying quality, marketable products to establishing quality assurance systems so farmers can certify their organic products – to MPP partners in eight countries: Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Mongolia and the Philippines.

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