• Ana Rita Silva

Why Idanha-a-Nova?

Food4Sustainability CoLAB changes the paradigm of rural development and innovative projects in Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal


The Food4Sustainability CoLAB, located in Idanha-a-Nova aims, among many other objectives, to change the paradigm of rural development and capacity for innovative and bold projects.

Idanha-a-Nova is a Portuguese village in the district of Castelo Branco, halfway between Lisbon and Madrid. Idanha is known for its fertile countryside and was once known as the Barn of Beira Baixa - here the traditional and the modern cohabit in common harmony.

Idanha-a-Nova has been considered a City of Music since 2015, as part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Besides being the first Portuguese locality to enter this prestigious network, it was also the first rural territory. Idanha-a-Nova has earned its place among capitals and major cities around the world. This classification by Unesco is a recognition of the performance of small dimension/low density territories on a global scale and is also, a stimulus that allows to strengthen the development strategy of the municipality.

Later, in February 2018, the Municipal Centre for Culture and Development, in partnership with the Municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, integrated the International Network of Bio Regions, placing Idanha-a-Nova as the first Bio region of Portugal.

Food4Sustainability will allow working and promoting the wider potentialities of the municipality in a differentiating and sustainable way, stimulating the creation of wealth and employment, and making territorial cohesion possible, countering depopulation. Besides, it will be possible to practice the circular bioeconomy in its full form, using the hectares that are under-utilised or unused, reducing the waste from agricultural production and agro-industries, reducing the accumulation of waste and responding to the challenge imposed by climate change.

Organic farming is another major pillar of CoLAB, which, together with the growing demand for this type of product, even at international level, will certainly attract national and foreign investment and help other businesses, such as gastronomy and rural tourism, contributing to the growth of the national economy. Idanha is on the international food industry map!


Nuno Russo stated that "Idanha may be the place to restart national agriculture, test new solutions and take it further"!


From Idanha to the World!