European Mediterranean mountain regions have been characterized by a sort of competition between the tourism sector and the agro-silvo-pastoral system, which in recent years has contributed to generate a continuous decline of the second one. Nevertheless, Pasture-based Livestock Farming Systems (PLSFS) are relevant for their role in the management and conservation of large High Nature Value (HNV) farmlands in Europe. The goal of our research is therefore to analyze what are the main features of farming organizations in the Italian alpine mountains and how they may be combined into inovative and sustainable business models (BM), characterized by the coexistence of agro-silvo-pastoral and touristic activities. By drawing upon the BM definition suggested by the Bocken’s et al. (2014), an exploratory case study has been analyzed; in particular, we propose the case study of the Lanzo Valleys, an alpine mountain region in the northwest of Italy, and the Toma di Lanzo Producers Association. The way a concrete and sustainable innovation in the more traditional BM could be supported only by the proactive intervention of a supra-farm dimension, while maintaining the peculiarities of the individual farms, is clearly shown in the article. A system of firms and institutions linked together in a collaborative relationship may represent a strong network, able to achieve the common goal of producing a sustainable development for the territory. Indeed, environment and cultural heritage may be preserved, as well as the economic perspective of farms reinforced, while the PLSFS could become more attractive for the tourism phenomenon. Interesting implications for farmers, policy makers and local institutions are identified.
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