Quality production: connecting food production with mountain huts

The building block focuses on the network of agricultural producers and breeders that has been established under the framework of the project “Produttori di Qualità”(in English “producers of quality”). The network is currently made of 72 local individuals/small companies dedicated to the production of food and beverage products that are certified for their quality. The network includes producers focused on the creation of quality products rather than quantity.

The project focused on enhancing the awareness of living and operating in a World Heritage site and in creating meaningful networks of good practices and cooperation between producers, valuing the specificity of each product.

This has also become a platform for the creation of a direct connection between quality production and mountain huts, and hence enhancing the experience of locals, visitors, tourists as well as promoting local products and creating a mean for a sustainable economic development. In this cases farmers and breeders are not only seen as users of the natural environment, but active actors in the conservation of the landscape of the Dolomites.

The existence of different systems of certification and/or recognition of quality productions and products is key to the establishment of a virtuous and sustainable network.

Understanding the values added by farmers, breeders and farming/breeding landscape to the value of the Dolomites.

The Site Overall Management Strategy includes a specific strategic objective on the promotion of sustainable economies and of local products, establishing an institutional framework for the project to be developed as part of the overall management strategy of the Dolomites.

Importance of fostering and supporting sustainable economic development through the production of food and beverage products of quality is a key element for the long-term habitation of the Dolomites and a key element to avoid the further depopulation of mountain regions.

Involving producers in an active network has allowed to involve them in raising awareness on the value of the Dolomites as well as in being mindful of this values when looking at the activities they carry out.

Synergies between producers and “users” (mountain hut managers) were needed to ensure economic viability of the production but also as key elements for the creation sustainable tourism experiences.