Slow Food's Ark of Taste travels to the Mediterranean thanks to MedSNAIL project
The countries of the Mediterranean basin present a rich variety of agri-food products deeply rooted in local culture and biodiversity and are representative of the Mediterranean diet. These territories also share common challenges in the agri-food sector, such as the gradual loss of local varieties, rural poverty (particularly affecting women), the limited investment capacity of rural entrepreneurs, and the lack of training on socio-environmental sustainability, business planning and marketing strategies.
MedSNAIL (Sustainable Networks for Agro-food Innovation Leading in the Mediterranean) aims to address these problems by promoting the valorisation and the development of traditional small-scale agri-food value chains, combining the enhancement of market potential and socio-environmental sustainability.
The project activities are based on the experience, principles and methods of Slow Food, an international grassroots organisation that promotes traditional food with a strong focus on the preservation of biodiversity and respect for local land and culture.
Biodiversity is under threat around the world, and the biodiversity linked to family farming and small-scale agriculture is at particular risk. The reasons are many: agricultural industrialization, genetic erosion, changing food habits, climate breakdown, the abandonment of rural areas, migration and conflicts, to name just a few.
We all need to do what we can to save what remains.
It is not just up to NGOs and other associations to defend our invaluable heritage of fruits, vegetables, livestock breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and cured meats. Each one of us can make conscious choices when we are buying food, as well as bringing attention to products at risk of extinction and helping to save them.
That's what the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste program is for: giving all of us a way to do something.
This program, launched in 1996 by Slow Food, travels the world collecting small-scale quality productions that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet.
The Ark of Taste was created to point out the existence of these products and draw attention to the risk that they might disappear within a few generations. It currently contains more than 5,000 products from 150 countries.
Thanks to the contribution of many people around the world, Slow Food has catalogued thousands of products so far, but there is still a long way to go. MedSNAIL project is trying to put products on the Ark by locating them in their countries. For this reason, the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste is travelling to Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Spain and Tunisia.
Here you can find the criteria for inclusion in Slow Food's Ark of Taste