Credit picture by: Michele Corti
Credit picture by: Michele Corti
The City of Bergamo is divided into two sections: Bergamo Bassa (LowerBergamo), the economic and administrative heart, and Bergamo Alta (UpperBergamo), where over 2.000 years of historical and artistic activity can be seen in every corner. The province of Bergamo is placed in a beautiful natural setting which includes large plain areas, the Orobic Alps and its valleys, shared with Lecco and Sondrio.
For thousands of years Bergamo and the Orobic valleys have based their economy on a sustainable use of their natural resources, agriculture and livestock, and have leveraged their unique creative gastronomic knowledge. The City of Bergamo and its Orobic Alps are a successful example of how a territory that has continuously fostered its unique local Traditional Knowledge and balanced its Urban (the City of Bergamo) and Non-Urban (Orobic Valleys) relation can thrive sustainably and effectively.
It has been demonstrated that the local expertise of making cheese is not a mere mixture of ingredients (milk, rennet and salt) or a set of aromas and flavors: artisanal cheese making is an anthropological and cultural heritage made of People, expertise and traditional practices (Products), which marked the time and the lives of the people of the Orobic Valleys (Places), centuries after centuries and together constitute the Creative Asset of the territory.
The Creative Knowledge Platform (CKP) methodology, promoted by the CK Foundation, gives the opportunity to express the creative assets within each community and leverage its collective intelligence to implement a model of territorial promotion based on traditional and sustainable techniques by providing marketing strategies and resources to increase presence in new and existing markets with an indirect, producer-to-consumer, online marketing platform and mobile application.
The CKP was applied to document in a book and in a dedicated website the historical and geographical reason that allowed the people of the Orobic Valleys to develop such uniqueness over the centuries. Special attention was dedicated to the unique food products of the area and to the reason why the local Knowledge Keepers deserve to be identified and treasured, and their knowledge to be transferred to the next generations. A large section of the project has been devoted to interviewing the local artisanal cheese makers, who in their own words have expressed their motivations and gratifications, their difficulties and challenges, while they presented their artisanal productions and their territory.
Itineraries to meet the Knowledge Keepers either directly in their farms or in their artisanal cheese factories have been developed.
The project is currently evolving into the study of the artisanal cheese value chain to identify and promote all the people, techniques and local ingredients.
The project seeks to expand awareness of cheese treasures through the creation of an open access digital resource library with mobile use applications. Indeed, on the dedicated CKP application the project team has developed a framework to manage library content to allow Knowledge Keepers (KK) to tell their own stories and connect directly with chefs, consumers, and visitors to share resources, practices, and products. Through fostering deeper and more direct connections the platform will support and strengthen links in the food chain and local food economy.
To support the realization of the project students, experts or volunteers interested in serving as Knowledge Seekers (KSs), will be involved to work alongside project advisors to undertake research and support the collection of stories from Knowledge Keepers (KK) along with images and video to be uploaded to the CKP application.
By concentrating and aggregating the stories, videos, photos and the interviews of Knowledge Keepers (herders, farmers, breeders, master cheesemakers), Makers and Food Artisans in one “digital library hub”, consumers will have one-click access to local food producers.
The Artisanal Cheeses project will deliver the following outputs:
QR CODE FOR EACH PARTICIPANT
INTERACTIVE E-BOOKLETS AND BOOKS
GEO-TAGGED TRAVEL ITINERARIES
QUARTERLY MARKETING REPORTS
TRAINING PROGRAMS AND