What’s the programme of the Autumn 2021 edition of Harvest Festival Marrakech?

Please consult the Festival Schedule and the Events page on this website. Remember that Harvest Festival Marrakech is a dynamic experience: new community members, events and partners will be revealed throughout the sixteen days, from 15 – 31 October, on our social media and website. Participants in events are invited to join as Harvest Festival Marrakech members and share their profile on our community page.  Pop-up restaurants, tastings and workshops will be repeated by popular demand. Participation and interaction will generate new ideas for events and happenings that can be organised spontaneously. Stayed tuned to @harvestmarrakech on Facebook and @harvest_marrakech on Instagram to ensure you are fully informed, day-by-day.

Where does the Autumn edition of Harvest Festival Marrakech take place?

Harvest Festival Marrakech is a multi-sited event: it happens in art galleries, hotels, restaurants, retail stores and other spaces. This makes the Festival COVID resilient as there will be no more than 50 people at a time in any one place. The headquarters is the Palm Orchids Nursery, where there is a well-aerated café for pop-up restaurants, an open school for roundtables and marketplaces, open areas for small outdoor parties and plants galore. Please consult the map on this website for specific information: you will find partners across Marrakech, with differently coloured icons for Activities, Art & Culture, Gastronomy and Shopping.

Where can I buy local cosmetic, craft and culinary products during the Festival?

One of the goals of Harvest Festival is to promote the purchase and use of local cosmetic, craft and culinary products, along with other goods and services, that sustain livelihoods while contributing to healthy lifestyles. You will be able to find these products on sale at several of our partners’ venues, including three official Harvest Festival points of sale: (1) Jnane Tamsna’s EthnoBotanica Café and Shop, open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm; (2) Palm Orchids Nursery, Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm; and (3) Terre d’Eveil Holistic Wellness Center, Thursday to Saturday from from 10 am to 6 pm. A full line of products is also available at La Fromagerie des Chefs and other partner retail stores. If you prefer to buy directly from rural cooperatives and other local producers, don’t forget the High Atlas Food Market on Saturday 16 October from 10 am to 5 pm at Terre d’Eveil and the Souk Fermier at Majorelle Garden every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

What are the objectives of Harvest Festival?

Harvest Festival promotes the exchange of goods and services between people who share a commitment to producing and consuming sustainable cosmetic, craft and culinary products.  It seeks to connect the rural cultural landscapes and urban areas, sustaining livelihoods while contributing to healthy lifestyles. Harvest Festival is also a platform for exploring the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to a more equitable, just and regenerative world by taking action locally. It consolidates and strengthens a community who are building a nascent green economy that promotes low carbon outputs, resource efficiency and social inclusiveness.

What opportunities will Harvest Festival create?

Harvest Festival is motivating a collective of partners from diverse sectors to pursue their efforts to (1) inform the general public about biodiversity-friendly local products that support community livelihoods; (2) support institutional efforts to establish certification and labelling of unique regional products that support local livelihoods; (3) develop an online marketplace to promote goods and services derived from biological resources that are equitably traded, safe and sustainably harvested;  (4) assist associations and cooperatives to directly trade their cosmetic, craft and culinary products, benefitting producers and consumers alike;  (5) design agricultural, culinary and ecological tourism circuits that encourage small group visits, allow communities to represent their own biocultural diversity, and deliver direct benefits to people who are stewards of regenerative agriculture, ecology and economy; and (6) launch apprenticeship and educational opportunities to build awareness and skills for beekeeping, organic agriculture, product development, marketing and other elements of a vibrant regional economy.

Do I need to buy tickets for the festival?

There is no general ticket for the Autumn edition of Harvest Festival Marrakech. Please check with specific partners for the price of meals, products, tours, workshops and other goods and services they offer. Some events – like concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, roundtables and tastings – will be free of charge and open to the general public.

Is Harvest Festival Marrakech child friendly?

Harvest Festival is as child friendly as Marrakech itself. It provides an excellent opportunity for young people to discover new foods, ideas and innovations. Keep in mind that some partners, especially galleries and restaurants, may have specific policies that restrict access for children, especially if unaccompanied or unsupervised.

How do I become a member of the Harvest Festival Marrakech community?

Harvest Festival Marrakech community members play an important role in making the event a success. They embrace the basic premise that we can transition to a more equitable, just and regenerative world by taking action locally. They reach out to potential partners, encouraging them to join the movement. They communicate with their colleagues and friends to ensure they know about the overall event and specific happenings. They participate in Festival exhibitions, pop-ups, roundtables and workshops, and bring along their friends. If you would like to become a community member, please send a short (50-100 word) text to info@marrakechfestivals.org – in Arabic, English or French – that expresses who you are and what you do for agroecology, biodiversity, culture, gastronomy or landscape management in the Marrakech-Safi region.

Who are the partners of the Harvest Festival?

Please see the directory for a full list of partner art galleries, cafés, caterers, cultural institutes, co-working spaces, delicatessens, foundations, hotels, incubators, restaurants, retailers and riads. They all commit to develop special offerings – a new dish or menu, exhibition, film screening, marketplace, pop-up restaurant, product line or roundtable – that raise awareness of local goods and services. Partners pay no sponsorship fees, receive no subsidies for their participation and are not expected to offer discounts for customers. They all share the common goal of regenerating – especially as the COVID-19 pandemic eases – a local vibrant economy based on equitable, ethical and ecological exchange for the common good. Remember that more Harvest Festival Marrakech partners will be added during and after the Autumn edition. 

Is Harvest Festival Marrakech open to new partners?

Yes, any establishment that contributes to the transition to a more equitable, just and regenerative world by taking action locally may become a partner. This includes art galleries, cafés, caterers, cultural institutes, co-working spaces, delicatessens, foundations, hotels, incubators, restaurants, retailers and riads. During the Autumn edition of Harvest Festival Marrakech, our partners launch something special and unique to celebrate local agroecology, biodiversity, culture or gastronomy, in part by incorporating local culinary, craft and cosmetic products in what they offer to the public. They communicate their participation in the Festival through social media and word-of-mouth, drawing attention to what they are featuring as well as to the broader goal of ensuring that our local economy and food system work for the common good. If you would like to propose a new partner, please send your request to info@marrakechfestivals.org.

How can journalists participate in Harvest Festival Marrakech?

We welcome journalists who wish to learn more about Harvest Festival Marrakech and raise awareness about its activities, objectives and partners. Specific requests sent to info@marrakechfestivals.org will be shared with the Harvest Festival press attaché Faten Saffiedine. She can arrange visits to local cooperatives, interviews with members of the Harvest Festival community and tours of partner establishments in Marrakech – even by bicycle, arranged by Pikala Bikes. In addition, she is preparing press communiqués and dossiers, and sharing them with interested journalists.

Who organizes Harvest Festival Marrakech?

A collective of enthusiastic and concerned individuals gathered to create Harvest Festival. You can discover them on our community page and read about the role they are playing in transitioning to a more equitable, just and regenerative world by taking action locally. Global Diversity Foundation, an international non-profit organisation, developed the Harvest Festival concept, and worked with Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Organisation, a Moroccan NGO, and many other partners to develop specific elements of the inaugural Autumn 2021 edition of Harvest Festival Marrakech.

Who funds and sponsors Harvest Festival?

Harvest Festival Marrakech is organised without financial sponsorship or ownership by any entity or individual. Every community member, event and partner are self-supporting, and each is responsible for designing its own participation in the celebration. The success of Harvest Festival depends on dozens of establishments and volunteers that provide in-kind support. Two institutions provided seed funding to cover the core costs of communicating, designing and organizing Harvest Festival and especially its inaugural Autumn 2021 edition:  the Darwin Initiative, a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide, and the Swiss-based MAVA Foundation, which supports conservation to benefit people and nature.

What hashtags should I use when posting about Harvest Festival Marrakech?

Our primary hashtag is #harvestfestival. Feel free to use other ones of your, and as you participate in the Festival and interact with others, please tag as well the community members, events and partners that inspire you.

What are the Harvest Festival Marrakech COVID-19 guidelines and requirements?

Please follow local restrictions, including observing the nationwide curfew between the hours of 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM. Remember there is a national mask mandate that remains in place throughout the country.  As of October 1, cafes, restaurants and shops may operate at 50% capacity, so you may wish to reserve early and visit at non-peak hours

When is the harvest season in the Marrakech-Safi region?

Just like the Harvest Festival, the reaping of crops continues all year long. The agricultural calendar is linked to the wonderful Mediterranean climate of this region of Morocco, with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Citrus fruits are picked from late winter through spring and early summer, olives are gathered in the autumn, diverse vegetable crops thrive throughout the year, and each cereal – barley, maize, millet and wheat – has its own season.

Does Harvest Festival have a beginning and an end?

Harvest Festival – with its focus on agroecology, biodiversity, culture, gastronomy and landscapes – is continuous. It has its origins in the emergence of culture hundreds of thousands of years ago, and the birth of agriculture more than ten thousand years ago. It will continue as long as people cultivate their minds and the land. Harvest Festival Marrakech has delimited editions: Autumn, from 15 – 31 October, is centred around World Food Day (16 October); Spring, from 15 – 31 May, is around the International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May); and Yennayer, 12 – 14 January, celebrates the first day of the Amazigh agricultural calendar.

What is the High Atlas Food Market?

Cooperatives in the High Atlas region produce a wide range of high-quality certified local products, but they face numerous challenges in promoting and selling their goods. High Atlas Food Market was created in order to address this challenge, with the first edition held in May 2021 to assist local cooperatives in commercializing their products in urban areas, as well as how to expand their clientele during and after Covid-19.

Following the success of the first edition, the Moroccan Biodiversity & Livelihoods Association (MBLA), in collaboration with the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), is organizing the second High Atlas Food Market as part of the Harvest Festival, which will be held in Marrakech from October 15 to 31. The Market is taking place in at Terre d’éveil centre holistique du bienêtre.

The market will take place on October 16th to celebrate World Food Day, with the theme “Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow,” and to promote biodiversity-friendly local products as well as to remind attendees of the importance of knowing where their food comes from as well as how it is produced, prepared, and distributed.

From High Atlas producers to Marrakech’s urban consumers, the market will offer a diverse range of high-quality products at reasonable prices. We hope that this initiative will eventually spark a conversation and raise awareness about the importance of conscious food choices for good health, as well as how local cooperative products can serve as an alternative to highly processed and unsafe food products.

Where you can purchase High Atlas products?

In the second edition of the High Atlas Market, which will take place on the 16th of October 2021 at Terre D’eveil, you will be able to choose from a wide range of products from cooperatives from the regions of Al-Haouz, Azilal, and Demnate. You can also buy local products from our stalls at Palm Orchids from Tuesday to Sunday, and in Terre D’eveil from Thursday to Saturday.

Cooperative products are also available at Fromagerie des Chefs, a cheese shop that also sells seafood, meat products, herbs, and organic fruits and vegetables. Fromagerie des Chefs has established itself as a vital supplier to Marrakesh’s most prestigious establishments, including hotels, restaurants, and public institutions.

We display products from 13 High Atlas cooperatives that are already established with a diverse range of products and are enthusiastic about participating in the Market and the Harvest Festival. A set of criteria was developed to evaluate the cooperatives, and we are pleased to inform you that all cooperatives are in accordance with Morocco’s cooperatives law, “Loi n° 112-12.” Furthermore, they engage in traditional land-use practices and modes of production that promote biodiversity, and their work contributes to the creation of job opportunities and inclusive initiatives for their community.

Harvest Festival – Marrakech

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