The Talenti ("Talents") project organised by the Cooperativa Agricola Sociale Agry Social involves the recovery and cultivation of a total area of 48 hectares of land, divided into three plots located in several communities in the province of Palermo, Sicily.
Fifteen disadvantaged individuals are taking part in the project – they have embarked on a training pathway, which involves both educational and social aspects, and are accommodated in group homes. Five of the participants will be offered contracts at the end of the course.
The land is intended for organic cultivation of vines, fruit trees, tomatoes and lentils, with some areas dedicated to rearing buffalo, cattle and goats.
The products resulting from these activities can be marketed on site or through the Agrietica consortium, thanks to the opening of a new sales point in Cefalù.
Agreements with local organisations will enable the launch of a promotional network for the region and its products.
Location: Sicily, province of Palermo, communities of Collesano, Geraci Siculo and Termini Imerese
Organisation: Cooperativa Agricola Sociale Agry Social
Contribution: 130,000 euros
Year/Duration: Beginning of November 2018 / 36 months
Recovering uncultivated areas adjoining urbanised areas and creating a sustainable agricultural and social model for the region to help re-establish traditional farming and assist marginalised communities in the Salento area.
This is the aim of the Utilità Marginale ("Marginal Utility") project by the Fondazione Div.ergo-onlus non-profit organisation, to be achieved through the use of five plots of land in the Lecce hinterland, managed by the Filodolio social cooperative. Its purpose is to help ten mentally disadvantaged young people to integrate into the world of work and society in general.
The land will be used to cultivate traditional local produce (legumes, fava beans, grass peas and saffron), innovative crops (micro-gardens for vegetables inside greenhouses) and spontaneously growing plants with commercial potential, like Jerusalem artichokes.
Product distribution is managed by agreements between operators in the sector and other organisations in the region, the "Jemma community cooperative of Zollino" for loose products (beans and grass peas), the e-commerce portal "Passalorto" for home and restaurant delivery and the farming company "Terre Lucane" for the processing and distribution of Jerusalem artichokes through its commercial channels.
The project aims to involve tourists, with guided visits of the uncultivated areas, and local communities, with awareness-raising events on biodiversity, traditional cultivation and social agriculture and with training courses for around 240 individuals, including secondary school students. At the end of the training course 25 new volunteers are to become involved in projects created to introduce disadvantaged individuals into the world of employment and society in general.
Location: Lecce (LE) - Puglia
Organisation: Fondazione Div.ergo-onlus
Contribution: 48,000 euros
Year/Duration: November 2018 / 24 months
TERRE AL T.O.P.P.
The aim of the TERRE AL T.O.P.P. project ("LAND PRODUCING PRODUCTS and IDEAS") is to establish a "Teaching and Social Farm" in an area of 9.5 hectares belonging to the Municipality of Termini Imerese, which is already home to a therapeutic community for recovering drug addicts.
The project adopts a three-pronged approach – production, social and educational.
The farm targets schools to create a link between the new generations and the countryside, also through thematic and value-centred activities and hands-on workshops.
In the context of agricultural production, a project has been launched to cultivate ancient grains, legumes and forage using traditional methods, as well as producing herbs, ornamental plants and rearing sheep.
A former rural storehouse is the site for dairy production and the preparation of honey from Sicilian black bees.
The project’s aim is to facilitate the integration of vulnerable individuals into the world of employment, involving them in production and teaching activities.
Location: Trabia (PA) - Sicilia
Organisation: ISTITUTO DON CALABRIA
Contribution: 150,000 euros
Year/Duration: February 2019 / 48 months
The Restart! initiative by the Cooperativa Sociale ETNOS involves the recovery of an area of 11 hectares of property owned by the Fondazione Exodus in the province of Enna through the cultivation of hemp for industrial use and extracts of the plants of the Mediterranean maquis (thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano etc.) and donkey rearing.
Fourteen people are to be given employment, while a building on the land has been earmarked for assisting women who are victims of violence or affected by other disadvantaged situations (like addiction) and can accommodate up to fourteen individuals. It also hosts a workshop for processing, packaging and labelling products grown locally or by other farms that form part of a contract network.
Local community involvement is made possible by encounters promoting agricultural enterprise, local event actions and collaborations with the Centuripe vocational institute as part of the school/work experience project.
Location: Centuripe (EN) - Sicily
Organisation: Etnos Soc. Cooperativa Sociale
Contribution: 163,330 euros
Year/Duration: November 2018 / 36 months
The Ri-coltiviAMO project ("Let’s farm again") project involves the recovery of two plots of land with a total area of 13 hectares in the provinces of Trapani and Palermo through farming vegetables, medicinal plants, ancient grains, legumes and the restoration and cultivation of an orchard and olive grove.
The products are sold through a short supply-chain model (events, presentations, agreements with school canteens and health organisations) and e-commerce channels.
Also planned is the transformation of cultivated produce into preserves and pasta for gluten-sensitive clients, under the supervision of research organisation partners.
Sufferers of mental disabilities – as guests of the residential facilities managed by a partner organisation – migrants and oncology patients will also be involved, and a new cooperative will be set up at the end of the process.
The profile of project beneficiaries will widen to include school students through educational games in the fields and local people through cookery courses and seminars to raise awareness of healthy eating practices.
Location: Partinico and Calatafimi - Sicily
Organisation: Rossa Sera società Cooperativa Sociale
Contribution: 136,670 euros
Year/Duration: February 2019 / 48 months
Luna laboratorio rurale
Reclaiming abandoned land by helping excellent local produce literally bear fruit. The Luna laboratorio rurale ("Luna rural workshop") cultivates abandoned plots of land in the province of Lecce with a total area of one-and-a-half hectares, to produce figs, almonds and walnuts. A Slow Food initiative will also involve planting some Galatone apricot trees.
As well as fruit growing and micro-gardens for vegetables, the project will contribute to kick-starting the local agriculture and restaurant sectors, giving further impetus to the production of honey and saffron.
Unemployed youngsters, asylum seekers and disabled people are employed in the agricultural activities through the launch of six internships and two self-employment experiences.
The project plans to encourage the active involvement of the local community in promoting the region through the direct participation of citizens in these initiatives and organising food and wine events and fairs. A contest will also be held in schools to involve kids in creating packaging, "slow tourism experiences" to promote the products and agricultural training courses for twenty people.
Location: Nardò, Nociglia and Galatone (Lecce) - Puglia
Contribution: 44,000 euros
Year/Duration: November 2018 / 36 months
Cultivating lavender, growing vegetables and taking care of ten dairy donkeys, also for use in onotherapy activities (therapy exploiting the special character of donkeys) and tourism lie at the core of CO.META, a project to recover an area of around 5.5 hectares of uncultivated land in the heart of the Cilento National Park.
Fifteen disadvantaged people – foreigners and young people at risk of social exclusion – will be involved, with the aim of offering five of them stable employment in a cooperative that will be established, and which could be included as a funding priority from the second year.
All the produce will be processed in a small factory and then sold through retail sales points, e-commerce channels, promotional events and tastings and agreements with sales networks (Rete Confcooperative Quidanoi, Rete Agricoltura Sociale Agri Co.Re., Supermercati Coop). They will also be distributed through the residential services managed by the local social enterprise network.
To involve the local community more deeply and reinforce the link with the region, hospitality spaces as well as nature, food and wine and cultural itineraries will be organised, in addition to awareness-raising workshops on themes of inter-cultural contexts and historical memory.
Location: Piaggine (SA) - Campania
Organisation: Capovolti Società Cooperativa Sociale
Contribution: 132,000 euros
Year/Duration: 2018 / 36 months
Fattoria degli Enotri
The Fattoria degli Enotri project involves the recovery of an area of around eight hectares in the province of Matera.
The cultivatable area comprises olive and almond trees, grapevines and a currently unfarmed piece of land. The land earmarked for cultivation also includes canals, roads, recreational areas and an events area.
The objective driving the redevelopment of the Casino Melidoro building located on this land is to create a centre for environmental education (CEA) where workshops and events on environmental themes can be held and where accommodation for twelve people can be made available.
Management of this project takes place along integrated profit/non-profit lines, with the aim of moving from a simple company to a social enterprise within two years from the launch of the initiative.
Farming follows WWF guidelines, combining the principles of organic cultivation with traditional methods. It emphasises the production of olives, grapes, almonds, peppers, mushrooms (under glass) and honey, made in a teaching workshop dedicated to apiculture.
The project also involves earmarking 0.3 hectares for "social allotments" managed directly by disadvantaged citizens (elderly people and low-income families).
The social enterprise is also responsible for harvesting and transporting agricultural produce, marketed through direct sales, selling to ethical purchasing groups, at local shops and markets and through e-commerce and the channels of Terra delle Oasi, a brand for organic produce grown in areas managed by the WWF.
Four young local people are involved through work experience in the project development activities, as well as four young people serving probation, thanks to an agreement with the UEPE (Probation Office). Four people will be hired as employees when the project is fully operational.
Location: Valsinni (MT) - Basilicata
Organisation: WWF Potenza and Aree Interne
Contribution: 135,000 euros
Year/Duration: January 2019 / 36 months
Tutti in Campo
The Tutti in Campo ("Everyone out in the Field") project involves the recovery and use of uncultivated land in the Municipality of Monastir in southern Sardinia through an innovative farming initiative that includes the local community and encourages the re-introduction of disadvantaged people into the world of employment and society in general.
The project’s special nature is reflected by the cultivation of ‘Lycium barbarum’, the increasingly popular goji berry, a species from China that until now was only grown in Calabria and Sicily, launched by the Bentos Partners with the planting of 4,000 bushes in a hectare of land. A network contract with project partner Lykion makes it possible to manage the distribution and promotion of the product, while sales take place directly on site by the field.
The project includes the integration of 15 disadvantaged individuals into the world of work and, through the synergic involvement of the local area, aims to stimulate the growth of the local economy with potentially significant socio-economic results.
Location: Monastir (SU) e Cagliari (CA) – Sardinia
Organisation: Solidarietà Consorzio di cooperative sociali
Contribution: 61,000 euros
Year/Duration: November 2018 / 36 months