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Quality from the mountains

Cows in Slovenia’s Soča valley: Alpine regions like these benefit from marketing their products as "mountain products". (c) Miro Kristan

Cheese, meat and honey – these and other products from the mountains must meet certain EU requirements to be allowed to bear the “mountain product” quality label, introduced by the EU in 2014. A recent study shows whether and how this term has become established.

Agricultural products from the mountains are the end result of extensive and environmentally friendly farming techniques that strengthen local economic cycles and preserve traditional working methods. With the optional term “mountain product”, the EU aim to protect the making of products in mountain areas and thus better support mountain farming. Such products must meet a whole range of requirements: for example, animals must have lived most of their lives in recognised mountain regions, and products may be transported no more than 30 kilometres for further processing.

In recent years, the various EU member states have worked to establish the quality concept of “mountain products” in their countries. In order to provide an overview of the current situation and further promote the successful marketing of these agricultural products, Euromontana, the European Association for Mountain Regions, regularly evaluates the activities of individual countries. “Most of the Alpine countries in the EU are already working hard to establish the concept”, says Marie Clotteau of Euromontana. Many farmers already use the term, especially in France and Italy, where there are now over 600: “However, the EU and individual countries must provide much better information and support, particularly to producers, so as to help them use the term for their products. After all, they will in the end benefit from it”, she says.

 

Sources and more information:

www.euromontana.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-05-26-Implementation-of-the-OQT_EN.pdf, www.euromontana.org/en/working-themes/mountain-products/, www.agrarheute.com/land-leben/begriff-bergerzeugnis-geschuetzt-512545 (de)