The Parco delle Colline Metallifere was the first in Italy to join the GEOfood project with the aim of enhancing the geographical origin of agri-food productions, emphasising the the close link between them and the geological area of origin, highlighting the strong relationship between geological diversity, soil composition, raw materials and food production: not just a quality label but a real identity brand.
It is clear that this new project is linked to the CETS actions that the Park has been carrying out for years in collaboration with the DRAGO chain, with local purchasing groups, with the Food Communities and within projects such as the “minerality of taste” in partnership with the Slow Food Monteregio di Massa Marittima convivium.
Currently, out of 160 UNESCO geoparks, the GeoFood project has been adopted or is under adoption by about 30 protected areas. In order to be included in this project, producers, processors and restaurateurs must sign a manifesto of values to which they must adhere. This involves following a philosophy that aims at regenerative and environmentally sustainable agriculture that respects biodiversity and promotes the correct use of resources, with particular attention to rationalising the use of water.
The Magma Unesco Global Geopark, a non-profit organisation in Norway, has devised the GEOfood project, which embraces new sustainable strategies for agriculture and local food production in the geoparks of the UNESCO world network.
GEOfood is much more than a simple brand, it is a “philosophy” for the territories of the UNESCO Geoparks, an innovative way to connect all segments of the population with the territory as well as with visitors and tourists. Food is an international language that anyone can understand, through which people can be brought into contact with the soil and nature, strengthening food education towards locally sourced food and responsible use of resources.
GEOfood was created as a concrete response to the future global agricultural challenges identified by the United Nations within the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and those indicated by the FAO. The adoption of the GEOfood label within the Geoparks can concretely contribute to the achievement of many of the goals of the 2030 Agenda outlined in the 17 UN SDGs (United Nation Sustainable Development Goals).
The holistic approach applied to support local communities and the bottom-up approach that characterises UNESCO Geoparks are at the heart of the GEOfood vision. In this project we work to support producers, farmers and entrepreneurs in the Geopark area, to preserve traditions and increase their economy on a local and regional scale, respecting the environment and following models of sustainability and regeneration: GEOfood products come from local raw materials, increasing the use of zero km food in everyday life, empowering local communities involved in agriculture and the purchase of local products.
Within the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network, this new educational project is being developed focusing on local economy, combating food waste, circular economy and zero-km agriculture, eU Farm to Fork strategy, sustainable development, green economy and eco-tourism.
In 2021, the GEOfood Project received a Special Award from the IGCP Council (the Council of UNESCO’s International Geosciences Program).
In the territory of the Metalliferous Hills Park the adhesion to the GEOfood project started in 2018 focusing on the DRAGO supply chain network (about 100 entrepreneurs) for the production and transformation of ancient grains. This will be able to market its short supply chain products with the GEOfood label that, besides being a brand, provides a brief explanation on the connection that exists between that specific product and the Park’s territory, in order to be well recognisable by consumers and contribute to the territorial marketing strategy.
The GEOfood label certifies the entire supply chain: from production to processing and marketing, for local and regional markets. Through local emporiums, Solidarity Purchasing Groups (GAS), proximity shops and natural shopping centres, the Vetrina Toscana shop and medium and large-scale distribution with a focus on rights and ethical work.
GeoFood’s advantages also lie in the possibility of promotion within a worldwide international network and participation in projects and funding aimed at sustainability and green conversion.