Observing the ASP project "AlpFoodWay"



Activity dates: 
January 2016 to March 2019
Action’s description: 

AG1 is observer of the ASP project "AlpFoodWay", as it can help to preserve and valorize Alpine Space cultural food heritage which is one of the most relevant element for the transnational alpine identity and specificity. In the agro-food sector a rather high degree of research and innovation is also required, therefore, AG1 can benefit from the project outputs which will include a vision paper, a mapping of traditional food heritage, the creation of a cutting edge online inventory, courses and educational units, and a cultural exchange platform based on events and tourist tours which can dialogue with the PoK.

Foodways are socioeconomic and cultural practices related to food production and consumption. Food heritage is a strong identity source for alpine populations. It goes beyond products to include productive landscapes and traditional knowledge on production techniques, consumption customs and rituals, and the transmission of ancient wisdom. Depopulation, ageing population and globalization put Alpine food heritage at risk of disappearing. The project will create a sustainable development model for peripheral mountain areas based on the preservation/valorization of Alpine Space cultural food heritage and on the adoption of innovative marketing and governance tools. It will also foster the emerging of a transnational alpine identity based on the common cultural values expressed in food heritage.

The project will benefit heritage communities; local development professionals and organizations; cultural institutions; local, regional and national authorities. The project is innovative since it links food heritage with marketing and consumer culture, and does not consider heritage communities as passive recipients of ‘top-down’ interventions, but instead supports ‘bottom-up’ mobilization processes based on engagement and empowerment of the citizenship.

The project also contributes to a recent international debate (the 2013 UNESCO Convention) on the Intangible Cultural Heritage. All Alpine administrations are experimenting safeguard and valorization solutions – albeit in a fragmented and uncoordinated way. The project will develop this theme at a scale – the entire Alps – never attempted before. As future perspective, the Alpine community could aspire to inscribe the Alpine food heritage on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list as a traditional foodway.

AlpFoodWays is interesting the following pilot cases:

  • Parc Regional Des Bauges: Food alpine days - traditions in dialogue 
  • Valle Camonica: traditional food production plots and practices 
  • Glentleiten (Upper Bavaria): reinventing and promotion of handicrafts traditions 
  • Cross-border nature park Nagel­fluhkette: traditional mountain cheese hiking trails 
  • Tegernsee Valley: creation of authentic tourist experiences based on Bavarian ICH food 
  • Valle d’Aosta: developing a model to join tourism and food heritage actors 
  • Valposchiavo & Valle Camonica: vocational training module “innovative communication”
  • Trentino: development and testing of a format for “Food and Landscape Laboratory”
  • Valais: AlpFoodway App 
  • Upper Sava Valley: promoting fair local food and traditional cuisine 

Visit the project website: www.alpine-space.eu/projects/alpfoodway/en