Mountain Sentinels’ partner Mountain Partnership has been working on an amazing and innovative approach to securing environmentally and ethically viable value chains. Mountain Products Initiative is an award-winning voluntary labeling scheme for “high-value mountain products” that come out of developing countries such as Jumla Marshi Rice which is cultivated on the banks of the Tila River in Jumla, Nepal. Other products include White Honey grown in the mountains of At-Bashy in Kyrgyzstan’s Naryn region produced by “Dordoi Dary LLC.”
The Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) initiative strengthens the resilience of mountain peoples, their economies and their ecosystems.
It is a certification and labeling scheme based on environmentally and ethically sound value chain approaches, which promotes short, domestic value chains while ensuring transparency and trust between producers and consumers, fair compensation for the primary producers, conservation of agrobiodiversity and preservation of ancient techniques.
The MPP initiative provides technical and financial support to small-holder mountain producers from developing countries to create enterprises, enhance their marketing skills and boost their livelihoods by improving the value chains of mountain products such as organic food, textiles and tourism services.
Currently, the initiative operates in 8 countries and includes 20 products. Goods marketed under the MPP label include a stingless bee honey from the Bolivian Andes and pink and purple rice cultivated by farmers in India’s Himalayas, as well as tea, coffee, pulses and textiles.
The MPP label is a narrative label which tells the story of each product, enabling consumers to make informed purchases by learning about products’ origins and cultivation, processing and preservation methods, nutritional value and role in local cultures.
Around 10 000 farmers have already been supported by the MPP scheme, 6 000 of whom are women, as young men often leave the mountains and move to cities in search of work.