American University of Beirut

MedSNAIL: Sustainable Networks for Agro-food Innovation Leading in the Mediterranean


MEDSNAIL: Sustainable Networks for Agro-food Innovation Leading in the Mediterranean​

Mediterranean basin countries present a rich variety of agro-food products deeply rooted in local culture and biodiversity and representative of the Mediterranean diet. These territories also share common issues and challenges in the agro-food sector such as gradual loss of local varieties, rural poverty (mostly affecting women), limited investment capacity of rural entrepreneurs and lack of training on socio- environmental sustainability, business planning, and marketing strategies.

MedSNAIL intends to tackle these issues by fostering the valorization and development of small-scale traditional agro-food value chains, combining enhancement of market potentialities and socio-environmental sustainability. Project activities will build on the well-established experience, principles and methods of Slow Food, an international grassroots organization promoting traditional food with a strong focus on biodiversity preservation.

Aim O​f The Project

General objective
  • Fostering socially and environmentally sustainable development of agro-food SMEs by valorizing traditional Euro-Mediterranean products according to a “slow” approach and short-chain principles.

Specific objectives
  • Structuring and testing consultancy, support and training services to be provided to local actors (agro-food SMEs, public authorities) in order to raise awareness on the SLOW principles and define new pathways for a sustainable and durable development, beyond major economic trends
  • Promoting clustering of traditional products/producers, through a common approach to selected products in the cooperation area, thus increasing their visibility and diffusion in domestic and Euro-Mediterranean markets and triggering rural development while preserving local heritage and identity

Expected Results

MedSNAIL Legacy
This is a final document summarizing results achieved and lessons learnt, suitable for being used as a main output for updating the project methodology in view of its replicability and capitalization. Indeed it will be used during the capitalization seminars

New Memberships of Terra Madre Network
Selected MedSNAIL target groups (especially MSMEs) will be included in the broader program of Terra Madre, an international network of food-related stakeholders (food producers, chefs, academics, NGOs, representatives of local communities, etc.) working together to establish a system of good, clean and fair food from the grassroots level. The output is delivered with selected MSMEs’ participation in Terra Madre biannual event in Turin (IT) in 2020

Sustainable Food Value Chain Pilot Projects
Pilot projects will aim at valorizing and enhancing specific local food productions, improving the related value chain and encouraging the adoption of sustainable business models and marketing initiatives; therefore, they will be designed on the model of Slow Food Presidia, e.g. small networks of producers involved in the production of a specific food that respects the good-clean-&-fair criterion. At least half of them will realistically achieve Slow Food certification as Presidia

Marketing And Promotion Tools
They will be developed starting from the second year of the project, once the action framework is already established. Tools to be implemented include: 6 farmers’ markets (of which at least 3 Slow Food Earth Markets), 6 narrative labels for as many target products, 1 Euro-Mediterranean Chef Alliance. Setting the tools will also require the involvement of a larger number of target groups, including also local authorities (i.e. municipalities for farmers’ markets), restaurateurs, chefs, etc. Slow-hubs for quality

Consultancy services to SMEs
Slow-hubs launched in each partner region will be permanent networks/clusters of stakeholders to consolidate the food communities and guarantee a proactive participation even after the end of the project. Their coordinated action will contribute to create new initiatives and policies at the regional and cross–border level and reach the critical mass that is necessary for the start-up and capitalization​ of significant economic growth.​


Project Total Budget: 2.028.807,74 €
ENI Contribution (90%):  1.825.926,97 €
Project Duration: 36 months /meses​


Andalusian Federation of Towns and Provinces (Spain)
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity (Italy)
American University of Beirut (Lebanon)
The Rural Women’s Development Society Economic, social and political Empowerment for rural women’s (RWDS) (Palestine)
University of Sfax (Tunisia)
Gozo Regional Committee (Malta)
Women for Cultural Development (Namaa) (Jordan)

Learn more on MedSNAIL website

Information Campaign on Responsible Consumption

​MedSNAIL E-Catalogue - Nurturing Sustainable Agro-food Networks in the Mediterranean, the Case Study of Lebanon

MedSnail E-Catalogue.pdf​​​​

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