Pan-european projects

Arca-Deli Award

Award for delicacies and innovative services from owners and breeders of indigenous breeds and varieties. 

The Arca-Deli Award is a prestigious award with market value but no prize money. It is awarded annually (starting 2011) by the SAVE Network. The Arca-Deli Award label can then be used on labelling of products and services as an adding value. Niche products associated with locally adapted breeds and varieties become, on a small scale, more competitive and more economically viable.

Products and services must meet the following conditions:

  • Product or service (PoS) must originate from a farm that is connected either to the European Ark Network „Arca-Net„, the „Variety-Savers“ Network or by explicit approval through the respective SAVE partner organisation.
  • PoS must serve the in situ/on farm conservation of the autochthonous breed or variety.
  • PoS must be qualitatively above the average
  • PoS must be recommendable as a model or example of good practice.

Products and / or documentation regarding services can be submitted once a year to the judging committee of the SAVE Foundation. For this a call for proposals is launched in time before the Annual Meeting of SAVE Foundation and the SAVE Network. SAVE staff are excluded from entering this award.

Arca Deli Award 2023
If you would like to register a product and/or service for this year’s Arca-Deli Award, please fill out the following registration form and send it by e-mail to or by post to the SAVE project office in St. Gall.

download registration form:   Arca-Deli_2023_Form

Please do not send products to the SAVE Project Office in St. Gall. Products must be sent to our local partner on site or to the SAVE Network Office in the Netherlands.

The awards are given by the Board of Directors of SAVE Foundation, following the recommendations of a three-member judging committee. The decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Each winning entry will be awarded with a certificate and the right to use the Arca-Deli logo on their winning product/s.
Arca-Deli®Awards Chronik

A short description of the Arca Deli Awards is mentioned in a Flyer „Labelling diversity in Europe: 3 examples“ of the H2020 project DYNAVERSITY

Donkey Breeds in Europe

Donkey keeping in Europe has undergone  a  fundamental  change.  In South and Southeast Europe donkeys as  „Tractor  of  the  common  man“  are not  highly  valued.  The  stock  numbers in  the  southern  European  countries are  falling  dramatically.  For  example the  stock  numbers  fall  continuously  in Greece – despite the import of donkeys for milking in recent times. In Northern and Central  Europe the hobby keeping increases: The donkey has  in  some  places  become  a  status symbol. This  does hardly keep the decline in stock numbers in Europe because the increase in the North is less than the loss in the South. Furthermore except a few special breeds like the Poitou Donkey breeding hardly takes place. Especially in the North little emphasis is placed on selection.The Domestic donkey,its requirements and needs are today barely familiar.Misunderstandings and prejudices continue to be mentioned about this intelligent, durable and versatile Livestock. Even among the veterinaries knowledge of the treatment of donkeys is diminishing. Thus, barely veterinary books for the treatment of donkeys exist. Donkeys are not just horses with long ears, they show important differences like for example one lumbar less than a horse, their blood cells are larger, but less than in horses. In general donkeys  are  far  too  less  researched.  There  are  still  many  surprises  to  discover  behind the long eared bats.

Corsician Donkey

Therefore SAVE Foundation has set up a database on the occurrence and use of donkey breeds in Europe and collected a lot of additional information:

The ecological value of feral livestock populations in Europe

Wild living carpathian horses

In many parts of Europe, horses, cattle, goats and sheep have been left to themselves – sometimes due to migration away from war zones or disadvantaged rural areas. These feral or semi-feral populations have often been more or less ignored. Unless, of course, they disturb forestry or agriculture through disease, damage, cross-breeding, fodder or water competition. Nature protection bodies view these populations ambivalently: on the one hand, these livestock populations have a massive impact on the eco-system balance, on the other hand they are put to use as semi-feral populations in the conservation of natural and park landscapes.
The interaction between the management of indigenous livestock breeds and the traditional agro-ecosystems are of great importance to conservation of both types of biodiversity – the wild and the domesticated.
Up to now there has been no overview of the European feral and semi-feral livestock populations. With the project “The Ecological Value of Feral Populations in Europe” SAVE Foundation addresses this issue and the problems surrounding the often forgotten feral and semi-feral populations. The project aims to collect data and information about the occurrence of feral breeds and varieties of livestock, to network key persons from the In Situ – On Farm conservation work as well as nature protection organisations and to develop plans for “best management”. In an empiric study SAVE Foundation worked out an overview of free ranging livestock populations in Europe, impulses and ways to preserve our unique traditional cultural landscape and at the same time to preserve locally adapted traditional livestock breeds

Marketing-Labeling: Heritaste-Trademark

Quality label for products and services from indigenous livestock breeds and crops. The word „HERITASTE“ is a contraction of the words „Heritage“ and „Taste“. HERITASTE is to characterize high-quality and tasty products and related services.
Conservation of genetic resources is important for future food and agriculture. A broad genetic basis ensures that future needs can be met, even in changed environmental circumstances. Genetic resources for food and agriculture include everything that humans need to ensure nutritional security – from soil micro-organisms through a range of crops to ecosystem management via grazing by large herbivores. This level of sustainability is important for the survival of future generations of humans. However, it is not just the humans of the future that can benefit. In many places where indigenous breeds and crops are still kept in a traditional way there are social and economic problems that need addressing. Even in more “developed” countries in Europe, rural disadvantage exists and recent pressure on the job market means that people are turning back to the land as a means of income.
Marketing of indigenous breeds and crops can contribute to the solution of these problems by creating an income for rural areas. This income is of especial benefit to young people and to women.
The label is registered with the European Trademark Office and identifies products and services provided by indigenous livestock and crops.
The Heritaste® trademark was developed, within the framework of ELBARN, by SAVE Foundation to promote product marketing and as a general tool to support breeds and varieties.
The production must be local, extensive and non-industrially made and has to represent a cultural asset. The webpage is a platform for products and their producers throughout Europe. More information, guidelines and conditions for use can be found there.

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