On 31 January and 1 February 2022, SHERPA Horizon 2020 project had its annual conference. During the conference’s group discussion on ‘Farm diversification and food chains’, Sherman Farhad (scientific coordinator of MOVING) presented how the MOVING project contributes to the establishment of upscaled Value Chains and to the long-term vision for rural areas (LTVRA).
Sherman highlighted that mountains provide home to almost 1.1 billion people and cover 36% of Europe’s area as well as the fact that mountains deliver key ecosystem services to society like: fresh water, forests, biodiversity and important food crops. At the same time, there is a high need for research and innovation on the mountains in order to upgrade the governance approaches and empower the mountain actors to innovate and be better prepared for the future.
MOVING applies the lens of Value Chains (VCs) to study mountain social-ecological systems; more specifically, to explore how social practices, as routine interactions between actors and their environment, are assembled into VCs. MOVING has 23 case-study mountain reference regions and value chains that are grouped under seven categories: crops, cheese, meat, alcohol, honey, tourism and public goods.
To reach the goals of a resilient and sustainable future in mountain regions, one of the main insights from the MOVING’s project is related to the diversification and collaboration in the VCs. The types of diversification fall under 3 main categories: 1. New and emerging products (e.g. carob, chestnut flour etc), 2. New and emerging processes (e.g. quality schemes, High Nature Value (HNV) farming, etc) and 3. Cross-fertilisation between production and other sectors (e.g. tourism, education, manufacturing etc).
Finally, Sherman mentioned that MOVING contributes to LTVRA through five big blocks of tasks:
- a. Participatory vulnerability analysis of the land use system to climate change
- b. Participatory VC analysis (practices, diversifications, challenges, opportunities)
- c. Benchmarking (digitalisation, gender, …)
- d. Participatory foresight (co-construct shared strategies and policies)
- e. Final policy roadmap