As firmly stated in the European CSA Declaration, citizens and farmers engaged in CSA across Europe aim, among others objectives, “to enable sharing of knowledge and skills between CSAs in different countries, to empower and educate people to act for and develop the movement and to show the benefits of CSA for the whole of society.”
This year, Urgenci and its partners are running three different « Erasmus+ » projects, which is the educational programme of the European Union to foster cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices.
The purpose is to address the CSA members and farmers needs and to facilitate the spread of CSA initiatives by transmitting knowledge, skills and competences from experienced stakeholders and organisations to local communities. Indeed, the number one lesson from “Be part of CSA!“ is that structuring a formal educational path for CSA means empowering its promoters and building fruitful links that help strengthening CSA networks. During the 3rd European CSA meeting in Ostrava (CZ) and the final meeting held in Timisoara late 2016, partners organised a working process to collect the training needs from newcomers and design the educational projects accordingly. Several key topics emerged from these consultations.
One of them is how to support the financial sustainability of solidarity-based food systems?
And that’s why and how SolidBase was designed as an educational programme which provides practical entrepreneurial knowledge not only for farmers but for their consumers, who actively participate in the management of these initiatives is needed.
Partners from Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany and the European CSA Research group will develop a specific project coordinated by TVE on “Financial and management education for small-scale farm based entrepreneurs” (2017-2019). Urgenci is part of the cast and bridge-building with the other European educational projects (CSAct! and EATingCRAFT) will be a priority.
A set of supporting tools and materials will be created and tested to help farmers and engaged volunteers to ensure the financial sustainability of solidarity-based food systems through knowledge and skill transfer.
A first management meeting in Budapest was held with all partners: TVE (coord.), AMPI (CZ), Solawi (GER), Agronauten (GER) and Urgenci on November 2nd-3rd, 2017 to define the SolidBase roadmap for the next 28 months.