Main Article Content
Recent EU and National policies for agriculture and rural development are mainly focused to foster the production of high quality products as a result of the increasing demand of food safety, typical foods and traditional processing methods. Another word very often used to describe foods in these days is “typicality” which pools together the concepts of “food connected with a specific place”, “historical memory and tradition” and “culture”. The importance for the EU and the National administrations of the above mentioned kind of food is demonstrated, among other things, by the high number of the PDO, PGI and TSG certificated products in Italy. In this period of global markets and economical crisis farmers are realizing how “typical products” can be an opportunity to maintain their market share and to improve the economy of local areas. At the same time, new tools and strategy are needed to reach these goals. A lack of knowledge has being recognized also on how new technologies and results coming from recent research can help in exploiting traditional product and in maintaining the biodiversity. Taking into account the great variety and richness of typical products, landscapes and biodiversity, this report will describe and analyze the relationships among typicality, innovation and research in horticulture. At the beginning “typicality” and “innovation” will be defined also through some statistical features, which ranks Italy at the first place in terms of number of typical labelled products, then will be highlighted how typical products of high quality and connected with the tradition and culture of specific production areas are in a strict relationship with the value of agro-biodiversity. Several different examples will be used to explain different successful methods and/or strategies used to exploit and foster typical Italian vegetables, fruits and flowers. Finally, as a conclusion, since it is thought that innovation should be compatible with typical products without interfere and modify the link between product and area of production the role of research will be defined and quantified.
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