21 April 2015 – Who could have imagined that a small group of women farmers from a remote village could get their marmalade made from prickly cactus pears to a major European market like Eataly in Rome?
“The jam jars are an example of the powerful role that such creative partnerships can make in empowering family farmers and facilitating their access to global markets,” the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a press release.
FAO and Eataly joined forces two years ago to support family farmers around the globe in boosting their production and finding ways to reach new overseas customers.
One example of that collaboration is their support of a women’s cooperative from Ethiopia’s Tigray region, which produced more than 3,300 pounds of cactus pear marmalade that are fully in line with both Ethiopian and European food safety standards.
Now shoppers can purchase the marmalade, packaged in 4,000 jars, being sold by Eataly in Rome, according to FAO.
“We are here to recognize the role of family farmers and especially the role of women who are key to achieving food security in Africa,” said FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva at an event held at the Eataly store in Rome. “FAO is grateful to Eataly which is giving the opportunity to this product to be distributed as a gourmet product here in Europe.”
The partnership was supported by the Italian Development Cooperation agency, according to FAO.
The teamwork with Eataly is an example of FAO’s focus on partnerships. Since 2013, the agency has signed over 60 agreements with a wide range of different stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, non-governmental organizations, cooperatives and academia.