An Introduction to Food Cooperatives in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon : Territorial Actors and Potential Levers to Local Development Through Culinary Heritage

Titre An Introduction to Food Cooperatives in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon : Territorial Actors and Potential Levers to Local Development Through Culinary Heritage
Lien hypertexte Site de « https://link.springer.com »
Titre du périodique Food ethics
Date 2020/09
Pagination 18 p.
Résumé Abstract : «Economic development approaches are increasingly entailing local geographic scales and encouraging the mobilization and organization of territorial actors given local conditions and resources. Lebanon is a country facing frequent uncertainty with recent economic and social difficulties. Its popular cuisine may play a key role in its development and that of its rural space. In fact, that cuisine incorporates a traditional cultural practice called “Mouneh” which consists of preserved pantry foods, historically used to ensure household nutrition. Today, rural food cooperatives are engaging in that practice using agricultural produce from local farmers and are employing women. Despite strong internal and external challenges, they remain attractive actors as their principles of collective benefit, participation and democracy form a strong link with sustainable development goals. This study transversally analyzes the status of food cooperatives in a major agricultural region in Lebanon, the Bekaa valley. Findings mainly quantified size and production and provided a mapped representation of the spatial dependencies on local farmers versus urban markets for trade. With 75% women members and firm reputation in authenticity, food cooperatives in the Bekaa specifically and Lebanon generally are also extensively supported by donors but are being labeled as donor-dependent. Yet, cooperatives are localized in a largely agricultural territory with sufficient evidence of differentiation that could potentially be valorized. Hence, with optimal framing, regulation and networking of cooperatives, one can assume a protection of culinary heritage is possible with scalable contribution to food security and needed local development given major recent setbacks.»

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