Agroforestry and its variations across Europe
The benefits of Agroforestry have been known and used for more than 1300 years. Yet, currently it is not used to its full potential in Europe. We will discuss legal challenges, EU policies and look at the latest innovations in the field. We will present two (silvopastoral) agroforestry initiatives in the UK and Poland that put in place successful integrations of livestock and woody vegetation. What can be learnt from them and what conclusions do they draw from a combined agricultural and woodland use of the same area of land as compared to a single use form will be explored.
Building sustainable communities through Bio-Districts
As Bio-Districts are being built across Europe, we will have a look at different examples from Italy and France. We will get to know what it means to create and constantly adapt a complex Bio-District in practice. What are the legal requirements and lessons learned from the diverse approaches across Europe? We will also get to know which networking processes are in place on a European level and how they engage to support Bio-Districts and Eco Regions across Europe.
Building regional networks
Marketing regional food products is one way to improve sustainability and to ensure regional independence from the global markets. New methods of marketing regional food products such as community supported agriculture or direkt (online) marketing are spreading across Europe. We are going to learn about the possibilities of building regional networks in theory and in praxis.
Cities assuming the responsibility of food production
How to feed the city is a question many people, not just politicians are concerned about. There are several niche innovations that tackle the problem in one way or another, from the concept of Vertical Farming to Food Policy Councils that are developing in many cities all around the world. In this session we want to look closer into the example of an urban gardening project as well as the example of a rooftop garden as a form of ZFarming (Zero-acreage farming). In the final discussion, we will explore “Business Models in Urban Agriculture”.
Impact on politics
Especially for small projects it can be difficult to be visible on the map of international politics and to be competitive in the currently finance-dominated economic system. Still there are some success stories to be told. We are going to learn from their experiences and talk to the experts in politics and civil society about the obstacles we are facing in the struggle to implement a sustainable food system and the ways forward in order to overcome them.
Innovative financing systems
The financing of projects that are highly valuable to the transformation of the food system can be a real challenge. Several pioneers are exploring new and old ways of funding sustainable agriculture . We will hear their approaches and learn from their experiences. Finally we are going to discuss the topic: “Innovative financing opportunities for agriculture and the food industry”, being joint by a researcher in the field of Organic Farming & Marketing.
Outlook: Synergies, networks and the way forward
The transformation of the food system evolves along the entire value chain of the food production from farm to fork. The interdepence of actors across different process stages in the food system is very pronounced. Often it is not possible to stay within the boundaries of one area while tackling the problem of an unsustainable global food production system. To create synergies is not a question of “if?” but of “how?”.