Developing markets for the next generation of farmers

Faciliator Andrea Ferrante from Schola Campesina opened Young Farmers Forum for the Future’s second workshop by inviting participants from Norway and Greece to introduce the theme by sharing very different experiences of markets in their own countries. This was followed by a presentation from today’s expert. Joyti Fernandes, a farmer herself, advocates through the Landworkers’ Alliance, the small farmers’ union in the UK, that she co-created. She explained that it is not always obvious to people who make the legislation how it works in practice, so she suggested the potential of challenging it with a different solution.

She talked about ways a small farmer can be the main actor in a food supply chain: the challenges and advantages of processing products (milk to cheese, fruit to jams etc.) to get higher rewards. She explained CSA models of farming as a solution to access to markets.

Oistein (Norway) and Jens (Belgium) – who joined us from his hammock – talked about the frustration of only having clients who are rich. Joyti responded by talking about the challenges of food poverty in the UK, highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis, and recent government lobbying to explore different ways of giving those with the fewest resources access to healthy, local food.

Svenja (Luxembourg) talked about the need for the consumers to understand how organic or agroecological food is produced. She suggested the importance of education in schools for this, and others suggested the value of social media. Ninoslav (Bosnia and Herzegovina) asked for help with marketing along these lines.

The group of six participants discussed and agreed to recommend policy solutions around the need for a sound legislative framework, health and quality, fair and affordable prices for all, diverse models and schemes for accessing markets, investment policies to support short value chains and sharing knowledge.

This was the second of four thematic workshops hosted by Eco Ruralis for The BOND Project.

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