Many traditional food products (whether breeds, varieties or processed food) are at risk of disappearing, victims not only of social change, globalization and industrial agriculture, but of inappropriate and unnecessary rules and regulations, introduced unthinkingly as part of the process of EU accession. The same process offers the prospect of support mechanisms for traditional farmers and artisan producers, but these need to be activated and effectively delivered.
The three main outputs of the ESSEDRA project were the study on relevant legislation and policy processes, the inventory of Western Balkans and Turkey’s agricultural endangered products and the training of the partners’ staff.
The activities focused on advocating the role of small-scale farmers in biodiversity protection, promoting concrete models and actions to preserve biodiversity, and at exchanging the best practices and knowledge at a multiregional level.
Civil Society Organizations in the Balkans and Turkey communities were involved in protecting the environment, especially in safeguarding biodiversity, to halt climate change and to secure the sustainable well-being of local communities. Thanks to this project the capacity of the network to influence policy formulation processes was improved, as well as the dialogue and collaboration between the stakeholders.
The partners have been identified among the organizations, which proved to be the most reliable and pro-active and to have a clear understanding and knowledge of their countries needs and constraints.
One of the results of ESSEDRA hoped for is that citizens will become aware of their role in environmental preservation through informed every day decisions and activities, as well as their improved participation in Civil Society dialogues.
Awareness-raising activities were focused mainly on daily food choices and, in specific countries, on specific items identified during the first phase of ESSEDRA such as:
- Peasant food for modern people in Romania - see below
- Raw milk campaign in Macedonia
– GMOs campaign in Macedonia
– ALE (Anadolu Lezzet Envanteri or Anatolian Taste Inventory) in Turkey
– Rural tourism campaign in Albania
– Support for local breeds in Serbia
– Cooperation between farmers in Bosnia
– Linking consumers and producers – a step for sustainable farming in Bulgaria
– When you shop use your head in Croatia