The BOND approach
BOND’s legacy is to offer, to the farmers and land managers across Europe, for the medium and long term:
A set of practical processes, methods and tools (with training modules), easily accessible and user-friendly, to build capacity in bonding (within), bridging (between) and linking (beyond) capital, for the creation of dynamic, strong and effective collective organisations. A specific gaming technique designed to engage with policy-makers.
With these tools at hand, any individual, entity or group in the farming and land managing sectors at large, will have the possibility to access a menu a la carte, with tested recipes from practice partners, (including video testimonies) throughout Europe, to guide them and accompany them in incremental steps, when they decide to engage and benefit from the synergies of working with others in the farming and land sectors.
BOND has strengthened knowledge and capacities of individuals, and brought forward the recommendations emerging through the different events to the multi-actor deliberations and fora in the selected countries. By engaging in such new forms of collaboration with policy-makers, civil society actors, the private sector, and other key stakeholders, farmers and land manager who remain excluded from markets, are able to ‘fully play the game’. Giving them a voice in policy-making, improves the rules of the game’, and creates the conditions to optimise this contribution to the development of the farming sector in Europe.
Intragroup relationships among farmers and land managers within organisations
Close bonds of solidarity among farmers and natural resources managers, within grassroots and self-help groups, local associations and cooperatives are the basis for the development of strong rural organisations.
Through bonding relations, farmers gain self-confidence and knowledge to analyse their own problems, make informed decisions, and act collectively. Bonding relations enable farmers and land managers to identify solutions collectively and build strategies to cope with change. Beyond the bonding per se, actors need to develop a sense of ownership of their organisations. The good practices documented suggest that a shared mission with mutual benefits, common values and members’ commitments are critical success factors for the sustainability of bonding relations in the form of farmer and land manager organisations.
Intergroup relations between farmer and land manager organisations, and closely related groups to create apex organisations
Given their dispersion in fragmented and distant units, self-help and grassroots groups, local associations and cooperatives, farmer and land manager organisations often encounter difficulties in entering markets and influencing policy-making processes.
Bridging relations (intergroup relations) connect similar farmer and land manager groups together to form larger organisations in the form of producer unions, federations and networks.
Through bridging relations, farmers and land managers from different organisations are able to pool their assets and competencies to overcome market barriers, control larger market shares, and access better-quality information.
Greater negotiation power, in turn, translates into more favourable transaction conditions and greater influence over other actors.
Extra-group relations between organisations and large market actors and policy-makers
To be fully effective, farmers´ and land managers´ organisations must link with external economic and policy actors, such as private businesses and governments. Through strong links with economic actors, farmers and land managers can gain access to national and international markets. Linking relations with policy-makers help actors create the enabling environment and conditions for their organisations to thrive and develop sustainably.
To be successful, these links between farmers, land managers, market actors and policy-makers must result in a positive sum game in which all partners agree to cooperate to advance their common interests, achieve and increase profits and share benefits and risks.