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PastInnova project aims to deliver innovations and sustainable business and organizational models for profitable and resilient pastoral farms and value chains increasing smallholders’ potentials for market access and value adding, contributing to revitalizing mountain and marginal areas and fulfilling social expectations.

Sustainable pastoral systems
Organizational and social innovative models for sustainable Mediterranean pastoral farms and transparent value chains of pastoral products in different environmental and socio-cultural contexts.
Diversification & Valorisation
We promote the efficient use of local resources at risk of abandonment or overusing and to valorise their economic, environmental and social attributes in order to diversify and face global challenges and promote adaptation to climate change
Policies & Innovation
We propose readily available policies, strategies and technological tools tailored to the needs and opportunities of actors, with a focus on fully recognizing the multisectoral role (social, economic, environmental) of pastoral systems and the inclusion of vulnerable pastoral groups.
Inclusion & Equality
We aim to increase innovation capacities of Mediterranean pastoral actors and awareness about the contributions of pastoralism towards inclusive and equitable pastoral areas and rural societies.


A pastoral system is a complex structure emerging from interactions of raising livestock and utilizing natural resources, in which breeders share production purposes, traditions and cultural values [1]. Pastoralism is a land-based productive activity, where extensive grazing is substantial but includes (a) a gradient of intensification even within particular systems in the use of rangelands (e.g., permanent natural and semi-natural grasslands, shrublands) and cultivated pastures, (b) different species (e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, camels, pigs, horses), (c) livestock movements (sedentary, transhumance, trasterminance) [2], (d) use of salaried labour and fixed/variable capital at different degrees. PASTINNOVA encompasses this rich variety in the Mediterranean but focuses on smallholders maintaining ‘pastoral identities’ [5] by making sustainable use of local resources at risk of abandonment (i.e. grazing resources and ecological knowledge) and providing examples of circular economy (soil quality, interplay crop-livestock, local breeds with low requirements in antibiotics and more resilient to disease [20] etc) for centuries and an alternative to dominant intensive livestock. Pastoral agro-ecosystems in PASTINNOVA provide a wide array of ES and share three features: agro-ecological constraints; traditional socio-cultural roles; potential to foster sustainable entrepreneurship. The value chain of pastoral products (VCP) is “The full range of people and organizations and their coordinated value-adding activities that produce and transform livestock products that are sold to final consumers in a manner that is profitable throughout, has broad-based benefits for society and shows neutral or positive impacts on natural resources. It fully considers the interaction between its components, and the physical, social and economic enabling environment” [3], where the strategic choices of actors creating, delivering and capturing value form ‘business models’ [4].

Learn more about Pastoralism!