MOVING – MOuntain Valorisation through INterconnectedness and Green growth

MOVING (MOuntain Valorisation through INterconnectedness and Green growth) is a Horizon 2020 project (2020-2024) coordinated by the University of Córdoba. The overall objective of MOVING is to build capacities and co-develop — in a bottom-up participatory process with value chain actors, stakeholders and policy-makers— relevant policy frameworks across Europe for the establishment of new or upgraded/upscaled value chains that contribute to resilience and sustainability of mountain areas. There are 23 partners representing mountain regions across Europe.

SEGS researcher Dr Kirsty Blackstock is coordinating a work package focussing on ‘participatory appraisal of vulnerability and performance of value chains’, bringing together experiences from across 23 mountain regions in Europe to share good practice about how to protect the social and environmental assets in mountains from future threats including climate change and depopulation.

Hutton researchers will also be shaping the conceptual approach of the project, running youth events, and contributing to the analysis of climate change and future scenarios. To date we have dentified a range of traditional (livestock production, winter sports) and innovative (nature tourism, food and drink tourism) value chains in the Scottish Highlands (and beyond) and have chosen to analyse Speyside malt whisky in more detail. More information on the specific research tasks can be found on the main project website.

The Scottish value chain will focus on Speyside whisky, covering the Badenoch and Strathspey region. Speyside malt whisky is a global value chain with strong cultural and geographical links to natural assets originating in the mountains. Whisky draws attention to water, often an unvalued natural aset in mountain regions, Speyside Whisky depends on mountain and lowland inputs. Whisky is produced by multi-national organisations but marketed using place-based and family brands. Climate change effects the water quality and quantitty. The upstream land uses that impact on water are often managed by different social groups to those working in, and visiting, distilleries, setting up interesting socio-economic dynamics in the value chain. FInally the Cairngorms National Park Authority and other stakeholder groups are focused on ensuring more of the values generated by land use, whisky and tourism remain in the local area. MOVING will rely on the expertise of Multi Actor Platforms (or Stakeholder Advisory Groups) for both advice and to generate and co-create research data and findings. Our group has now been established, meeting for the first time in July 2021. You can view the slides from the first workshop here and the workshop report here.

Below you can view a video on ‘Why mountains matter?’. This short film and research note highlight why mountains can and are being utilised for improving Scotland’s rural economy.

  • In November 2023, Kirsty Blackstock gave an invited presentation on the results and what they mean for the European Year of Skills agenda during the EUROMONTANA “Skills for Mountains in Transitions” conference in Brussels 21st November, for more information, see the final report and slides here. Our intervention was to stress the need for relational and governance skills as well as technical skills.
  • In March 2024, we joined our partners in Cordoba, Spain to have a final in person project meeting, where we shared common findings. We visited the Spanish Olive Oil and Iberico Ham mountain value chain producers, which was very inspiring and also shared their delicious products.
  • The results were also used to help deliver a Scottish Government project on water scarcity projections including impacts on distilleries, with final reports available here.
  • In June 2024, Kirsty Blackstock gave an invited presentation on the results and what they mean for Post 2027 EU policies, the meeting report and presentations can be found here.
  • Research to identify positive strategies that value actors can take to make their value-chain assemblages more resilient has been completed. Read the deliverable]
  • Easy to read information on the different case studies can be found in the practice abstracts published in August 2023
  • Our latest summary of the Speyside case can be read here – summarising how Whisky, Food and Drink value chains can use technology, cooperation and youth to improve their resilience and interactions but these activities need funding.
  • We are leading a cluster of comparative research on governance and cooperation to share good practice between cases. Information about this research can be found here A multi-national stakeholder workshop is being held in November in Hungary to share knowledge and progress the research.
  • Browse through all of the MOVING Digital Stories. The package of 23 short videos provides an overview of the vulnerability of mountain value chains in European and neighbourhood countries. Access here
  • To view the storymap introducing the Speyside Whisky Value Chain case study access here. It contains a series of pages which introduce the region, as well as some of the key elements of the value chain assemblage. Further links to additional information, as well as some of the project deliverables, are available via the “Digital Objects” elements on each page. February 2023.
  • Publication of the report: Vulnerability and Resilience of the Speyside Whisky, food and drink tourism value chain assemblage.  December 2022. Read the report here.
  • You can view the slides from some of our recent presentations here. One presentation exploring the role of young people in sustainable mountain development (Presented at ODT, October 2022) and one presentation on our value chain work presented at ESRS. June 2022.
  • In May 2022, we presented our approach to value chain analysis to the sustainable land management working group of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital. It was a sister presentation to work by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society on barley supply chains. In both cases, stakeholders were interested how the work could make natural resources more visible in the success of the Scottish Food and Drink sector.  Meeting notes are here and presentation slides located here.
  • Colleagues in Hutton and University of Aberdeen have recently produced this short video (2 min 18 sec) entitled ‘A Dam Fine Dram‘ to highlight how Nature Based Solutions are being used at Glenlivet Distillery to mitigate low water flows. May 2022.
  • The Hutton team are responsible for leading the Extended Value Chain Analysis (EVCA) being conducted by partners in all of the case study areas across Europe. The following guidance and templates were completed for each value chain: EVCA template and Diagram template, which informed analysis (including qualitative content analysis using Nvivo and descriptive analysis using Excel) and reporting, lead by the Hutton team. The deliverable report is available here and on the main MOVING website.
  • A report from our stakeholder workshops discussing the Speyside Malt Whisky value chain is available here.  
  • The value chain diagrams discussed in the May 2022 workshops are available here. Workshop participants were also given a chance to comment on these.
  • Vulnerability of the Speyside whisky industry to environmental change. Two reports from this recent research (Autumn 2021) can be found here. A research report and a technical report.
  • A selection of mountain value chain: private sector valorisation of natural capital?, Research Note, January 2022.
  • A report highlighting policy briefs of each country’s value chains and its policy context is now available to view here.
  • You can now view the report commencing the participatory value chain work across the whole project here.

For more information about MOVING, read the project leafletproject press release or visit the project website and blog. You can also subscribe to the project newsletter and follow us on Twitter.