Inspirational ideas: Local food networks inspiring people to take up organic farming
Many agriculture practices that support the value of the local natural spaces and landscape are getting lost due to farming changes or rural population decline. The promotion of local food production can increase the creation of jobs, strengthen local economies, offer opportunities to recycle water and organic waste and help to preserve ecosystems and natural landscapes.
The TERRAE network - composed of 30 Spanish municipalities which are home to agro-ecological reserves, is working towards creating jobs and restoring relations between agriculture and nature by promoting self-employment in organic farming. TERRAE municipalities provide land and training for unemployed people to start producing and selling organic vegetables to local restaurants and retailers.
The project also provides support to make contracts between producers and buyers and a label to certify that the products are local and organic. After the training period, trainees can start their own business so as to keep selling with the local organic label. The network has created a land bank to help them to find plots for their farms. At the end of the programme the new farmers can also get organic farming certification.