Soave is the only Italian wine consortium selected by FAO and invited by the CATF, China’s International Agricultural Trade Fair, the international fair of Bejing (21th-24th September), to present the body of research that led them to be considered for a GIAHS-FAO candidacy.
Press release n29/2017 of the Consorzio per la tutela vini Soave e Recioto di Soave
The Soave Consortium will get a chance to speak once again about its forthcoming candidacy to become the first wine production system in Italy to be recognised by GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems), the program created by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). This time, it will take place on an international stage at CATF, China’s International Agricultural Trade Fair, coming up this month in Beijing, from the 21st to the 24th of September.
On official invitation by the CATF, based on the selection by FAO in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry, the Soave Consortium will have a dedicated space in FAO’s international exhibition space, to present and illustrate the studies and research carried out over several years to protect, promote and sustain the historic hillside vineyards and the production system of the Soave appellation. Soave reached its first important milestone in 2016, when it was recognised by the Italian Ministry as the first national Historic Rural Landscape. This has laid the groundwork to meet the stringent criteria to become a candidate for the FAO – GIAHS program.
Bejing’s CATF represents a strategic moment for Soave, as it is one among 100 wine appellations which will now be protected in accordance with the bilateral trade agreement recently signed during the 2017 Chinese-European summit. More than 3,000 exhibitors are expected, coming from more than 40 countries, distributed over 70,000 square meters of exhibition space.
Last year’s numbers counted more than 45 pavilions, 400 thousand visitors hailing from 45 countries, and 1,200 accredited journalists from 30 countries. The CATF exhibition, now in its 15th edition, is dedicated to agricultural products, food and & beverage, livestock, agro-industrial products, agricultural machinery, and agricultural information, or rather, digitalisation and information technology applied to agriculture.
“The GHIAS candidacy is a significant step for our production system”, emphasises Arturo Stocchetti, President of the Soave Consortium, who has been working on the protection and the further qualification of the appellation’s historic landscape for years. He continues, “We were immensely satisfied to discover that we were the only wine consortium to be selected to illustrate the value and quality not only of Soave, but of all Italian wine.”
The GIAHS program, founded by FAO in 2002, is a world-wide initiative which aims to safeguard and support agricultural heritage systems by raising understanding and awareness of the rich biodiversity that has been sustained and enriched by the ingenious work of farmers and herdsmen over generations. Humans have an intrinsic role and profound relationship with nature, building resilient ecosystems capable of providing food and livelihood for millions in poor rural areas in a sustainable fashion. GIAHS, which began as a research project, now has more than 30 recognised historic rural areas, mainly in South America and Asia. Unlike the UNESCO World Heritage Sites which do not specifically mention rural landscapes and agriculture, the GIAHS program is designed for the dynamic conservation of these unique agricultural heritage sites and the exchange of valuable research and know-how to further the goals of sustainable agricultural practices throughout the world.
Entry into the program, beyond once agin certifying Soave as meeting the criteria for environmental sustainability and the conservation of its landscapes, could also open the doors to important international funding which would go to the territory’s community already active generating income while respecting biodiversity and landscapes.