Territory is a key element for biodiversity. It is not sufficient for a product to be just local. The adjective “local” tells us very little about the history and traditions of an area. It is possible to locally produce recently introduced improved varieties, hybrids or products unrelated to the local culture. The products that interest us, on the other hand, are strongly linked to their territory, not just as in terms of climate and environment, but also in a cultural and historical context.
Territory is soil, air, water and climate, but also language, dialects, religion, craftsmanship, architecture and landscape. Far from its territory of origin, a seed, vegetable, fruit tree or animal breed becomes simply genetic material.
Edible plant varieties and animal breeds are best able to fulfill their potential in the territory in which they have acclimatized over centuries thanks to humans’ activities. For this reason they are more resistant and require fewer external inputs (fertilizers and herbicides in the case of plants; veterinary care, water and food in the case of animals). They are therefore more sustainable, both from an environmental and economic point of view.
When you hear that a product is the same everywhere, that there are no differences between one region and another, between mountain and plains and so on (which happens a lot), don’t give up, continue to ask questions. You will find the differences: it will be thanks to a particular terrain, the use of a herb or spice that is found only in a particular valley, and so on. The challenge is to try to link a product and a vast territory with a precise identity: an island, a mountain, the path of a river, or a group of hills. If you cannot find a difference, not even in the smallest details, it means that this is not such an interesting product.

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