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Leader seminar "Challenges and methodology of transnational Cooperation"
2-6 April 1997, Dieulefit (Drôme), France
Agri-tourist cooperation between Valnerina (Italy)
and Drôme provençale (France): The Truffle and Flavour Road
The Truffle and Flavour Road is a pilot project for interregional cooperation between Drôme provençale (Rhône-Alpes Region, France) and Valnerina (Umbria Region, Italy). It is structured around two objectives: the development of truffle cultivation in the two associate areas and the utilisation of local products for tourism. The action was financed in December 1993 in the framework of Article 8 of the EAGGF.
For 2 years a genuine intermittent on-site workshop would be run in Valnerina together with numerous exchange visits between the 2 areas.
The real involvement of the teams of the 2 organisations, backed by outside supporters, would result in the joint publication by a French-Italian team of an agri-tourist guide of itineraries and a catalogue of proposals of receptive tourist holidays. The major effect of the cooperation would be the training of technicians from the Comunità de Montana to operate the tools put in place.
The key elements
Valnerina is in the mountainous part of Umbria, in the "green heart" of Italy. It is an area of low mountains in the Piedmont of the Apennines, some 200 km from Rome. Valnerina has 15,000 inhabitants and an area of 100,000 hectares. Valnerina comprises 10 municipalities organised in a "Mountain Community".
Farming is important, employing 25% of the working population, and is marked by cattle, sheep and pig farming. Non-industrial agri-food production is an important activity. Valnerina is a reference area in Italy for the production of truffles.
In Drôme provençale, the area of application of the project concerns in particular les Baronnies, on the border of Vallée du Rhône south of the Rhône-Alpes Region. This vast expanse of 1,230 km2 only has 20,000 inhabitants.
Farming remains the predominant activity and accounts for 50% of the economic activity. It is very diversified. With Tricastin which is adjacent to the region of Baronnies, this area is a major producer of black truffles.
Point of departure
The triggering factor of cooperation is the search by the Italian partner of a French truffle-producing area in order to submit a proposal under Article 8 of the EAGGF. It is therefore a cooperation project induced by the existence of European funding.
The first meeting between the partners was organised by a private company, a world leader in the truffle trade located in Valnerina.
The proposal to be submitted under Article 8 of the EAGGF was elaborated by people acting for the Comunità de Montana and the Syndicat d'Aménagement des Baronnies (SAB). Initially, the main area of cooperation is not obvious and the focus is more on sharing the funding rather than cooperating.
At this time, the Syndicat d'Aménagement des Baronnies took the initiative of creating in France a voluntary structure "La Route des Senteurs" (The Fragrance Road). This association was comprised of ten truffle producers.
At the second preparatory visit of the Italian partner, the Italians showed particular interest in the Olive Tourist Road and the Fragrance Road. These two initiatives were implemented by the Syndicat d'Aménagement des Baronnies. From this emerged the idea of cooperation between France and Italy on the theme of the Fragrance and Flavour Road.
From the start, the operation was served by the SAB experience in interregional cooperation (Via Mediterranea, Article 10 of the ERDF, LEDA, strong involvement in the LEADER I network).
The cooperation project took place in three phases:
- 1994: Coordinating and preliminary study phase
- 1995: Development phase
- 1996: Dissemination - Communication phase
Projects are being planned:
Route des Senteurs
Avenue Frédéric Mistral, 1
26111 Nyons Cedex
Tel: 33 (0) 4 75 26 01 48
Fax: 33 (0) 4 75 26 03 45
Comunita Montana Valnerina
Via Manzoni, 8
I- 06046 NORCIA
Tel: +39 743.816980