Between 2012 – 2016, MDD has been Slow Food’s Turkish partner in ESSEDRA project, which has been has been carried out jointly by other NGS’s from Balkan countries operating on sustainable rural development and environment.
In the first two years of the project, MDD carried out a field research to identify endangered traditional products from Turkey to register them under Slow Food’s Ark of Taste list. At the beginning, there were only 4 Ark of Taste products from Turkey. As a result of this field research, this number has increased to 59 products.
Throughout the project, “Presidia” activities were carried out aiming to organize small scale artisanal producers under a union to create new market opportunities for them, to sell their products at the right value and to preserve the future of the local producers.
There are a total of 442 Presidia products in the world and 249 of which are from Italy. Currently there are 3 Presidia products from Turkey, which are “Kastamonu İhsangazi Siyez Wheat Presidia” and “Karaman Divle Cave Cheese Presidia” and “Kars Boğatepe Gruyere Cheese Presida”. “Karaman Divle Cave Cheese Presidia” and “Kars Boğatepe Gruyere Cheese Presida” were included in the list of the results of the activities carried out within the Essedra Project by MDD.
In the last two years of the project, activities were concentrated on cheese / dairy products and these activities contributed to the advocacy campaign about legal difficulties experienced by producers in this area carried out along with other project partners.
In addition, Boğatepe Environment and Life Association was financially supported by MDD in the scope of Kars Boğatepe Gruyere Cheese Presida activities for purchising various devices in order to improve product quality and production capacity.
Within the Anatolian Taste Inventory (ALE), another extension of the ESSEDRA PROJECT, 55 endangered traditional food products from Anatolia have been listed and it is planned to increase this number in near future.