In May 2008, some of the members of Working Group 1 (Dissemination actions), successfully replied to a call for proposals issued by the Fondation de France.
This call for proposals named « L’Europe en plus large/ Europe in larger perspective » aims at promoting a more open and positive attitude of French society towards the new member States of the European Union.
The project consists of disseminating the AMAP concept (Associations pour le maintien d’une Agriculture paysanne, Associations for maintaining small-scale farming), a model which has been flourishing for over 5 years in France, in a total of 10 Central and Eastern European countries as well as in Morocco.
Objectives specific to the first year of the project
- Identify a group of consumers and producers capable of launching a pilot initiative of local and solidarity-based partnerships between producers and consumers, and effectively launching this initiative in each of the countries in question ;
- Identify and/or establish a structure (which could simply be an consumers’ association) able to monitor the process and to provide the initial contacts at the national level in order to prepare for dissemination ;
- Provide bespoke support services that URGENCI usually proposes to its members (training of young farmers, redeploying local biodiversity, facilitating access to land).
The first year outcome (for year starting contractually on July 1st 2008 and ending on June 30th, 2009) is the creation in each of these countries of at least one group of consumers and producers and the launch of the first distributions of fruit and vegetables during Spring 2009.
The expected outcomes for the following years are :
- the continuity of the pilot project, which will be used as a reference at a national level
- the launch of dissemination actions at a national level (second year)
- a dissemination in at least four places around each country (third year)
- the building of a national network which could then secure the continuity of the process by twinning with a pre-existing network in France or in another country where the concept is already well rooted (this result is not to be expected before the fourth year).
However, the deadlines in parentheses are given only as indicators, as they depend on the specific context to be found in each country.
It should be noted that in the case of Roumania the dissemination process was started in September 2007, with the launching of a pilot AMAP in Timisoara. Distributions started in June 2008. The results from this country will then be one year ahead of the rest of the schedule. This means that the Rumanian case can be used as an example and as an illustration for the other countries.
Dissemination will be carried out by mobilising existing AMAPs in France or in other Western European countries where the concept is strongly implanted. The idea is to create a twinning between each local initiative in a given country and one or several AMAPs located in the same area in France (or in another Western European country). This twinning will open the way for further twinnings between networks in Western and Eastern Europe (c.f. fourth year outcome).
The activities planned during the first year of the project are :
- identify a local group in all 11 countries. This will be achieved with the support of the URGENCI international network partners in the Central and Eastern European countries. The help of the PREPARE network will be specifically required. URGENCI International Network has a strong existing relationship with PREPARE. Several members living in Roumania, Bulgaria and Morocco are members. There are already existing partnerships with these countries (see partners’ tags above). The partnership with FAOW in Poland will further help facilitate the contacts with all the partners.
- Issue a call for proposal to all the French AMAPs in order to guarantee the dissemination to all of the 11 countries, select the applications and establish twinning.These actions will take existing twinning between cities and regions into account, as well as the languague spoken by the the participating structures.
- Organize a preliminary trip following an initial exchange of information and contacts by phone and e-mail. This trip aims to assess the initial needs. This preliminary information and awareness-raising trip aims to formally constitute a group of consumers and identifying one or several producers.
- Monitoring the process by email and phone, with the possibility of organizing meetings when the opportunity arises.
- Organize a second trip in order to embed the local partnership between producers and consumers before the lauching of the first distributions. This second trip will also provide an opportunity for initiating contacts at the national level in order to disseminate the experience at this level.
- Provide the services offered by the URGENCI network as requested, regarding the seven other themes proposed by the URGENCI working groups.
Second year : Starting Dissemination at a national level
- Complete a first AMAP experience feedback meeting in every one and each of the 11 countries, including a field visit and a debate. All the interested national level partners will be invited ;
- Identifying the partners who could take part into the dissemination process, including providing financial support and help in establishing partnerships ;
- Launching the dissemination project at the national level.
Third year : Dissemination in 5 to 15 regions for all 11 countries
- Identifying the local groups with a potential interest in the project and launching the AMAPs capitalizing on the first experience ;
- Organize the twinnings between AMAPs in the West and in the East (or in the South for the Maghreb).
Fourth year : organize the national network in all 11 countries
- organize a field trip and study tour to a regional or a national AMAP network in France or in a country where the AMAPs are already well implanted ;
- organize the feedback meeting in each country with all the relevant actors ;
- launching the national network.