UN partnership to vet Cordillera products

KALINGA. Women from Pasil in Kalinga demonstrate slow food cooking promoted by Slow Food International, a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people's dwindling interest in the food they eat. (Jean Nicole Cortes)

CORDILLERA products are now being prepared to be marketed using global standards.

Led by the Department of Tourism Cordillera with the United Nations Mountain Partnership and the Slow Food International (SFI), products of the highlands will embark in a full year of development, community training and packaging.

Elena Aniere, Slow Food International regional coordinator for Southeast Asia said the partnership is set to select products from the region which will go through a process before promotion and sale.

The process will include identification, training, consumer awareness, events and promotion and development strategies in preparation for identified products to find markets.

Edie Mukiibi, vice president of SFI, an organization based in Italy, is advocating awareness to consumers to create alternatives to what there is available in the market.

Mukiibi said creating awareness for food and biodiversity to achieve food security is key for communities to thrive, especially for mountain communities.

"Mountain communities are one of the most bio diverse, there are many way of cooking and eating... and the people can adapt to changes, they are not ignorant to deal with these," said Mukiibi, adding that traditional cuisine, with its ingredients and how food is made, makes a community resilient.

A talk was given by Mukiibi and Aniere Wednesday, May 22, at Mt. Cloud bookshop, with authors of the book, "Heirloom Recipes of the Cordillera."

The book has a collection of 100 traditi0nal recipes compiled by the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples Rights (TFIP) and the Partners for Indigenous Knowledge Philippines (PIKP). It was compiled to ensure good food will be passed on to the next generation.

SFI is a global grassroots movement that aims to promote and protect local food cultures, and to counteract the rise of fast life and fast food with awareness and concrete action.

The Mountain Partnership is a United Nations voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world, with the region being into the partnership through former DOT Cordillera Director Marie Venus Tan who now sits as the COO of the Philippine Tourism Board.

The partnership aims to alleviate poverty and is comprised of mountain destinations like the city, forming a support group to boost each area's economy.


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