Silvopastoralism is a common practice with high benefits for society (landscape conservation, fire risk management, and the production of high quality meat and dairy). But the presence of herds and shepherds is more and more rare, leading to the growth of fire prone forests.
Thus, the presence of livestock in woodlands has become a shared interest by owners, farmers, firefighters, environment rangers, and businesses willing to sell food products with an added value.
All of this motivated the project Fire Flocks. Fire Flocks brings together all public and private agents interested in the continuity of silvopastoralism, by aligning their various needs, and articulating a production and consumption chain of food products from herds with the added value of decreasing fire risk in woodlands with a strategic role in the propagation of wildfires (as determined by Firefighters of Catalonia or the Agriculture Department in Catalonia).
With Fire Flocks, shepherds release their livestock in forests with predefined understory vegetation control targets. However, grazing in forests often carries additional effort and a reduction in herd productivity, discouraging shepherds from going.
The Artisan Butchers Guild of Girona (Spain) counties works on adding value to the products of the participating farmers, through a label that certifies the herds’ fire risk management tasks. Customers will thereby know that eating Fire Flocks products delivers societal benefits; it will keep alive local extensive livestock farming and preserve forests.