The Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM) of the University of Évora welcomed from 13-15 November a French delegation, including a member from RENETA – a French network of incubators for agricultural businesses, a member from a farm incubator of Gironde that is RENETA member and a rural press journalist. The visit is part of the ongoing exchange of experiences supporting new entrants into farming in the scope of the NEWBIE project. RENETA is one of the ten institutions participating in the project’s consortium.
A three-day program aimed to expose the work done by the LABScape research group of ICAAM in the Alentejo region in Portugal, specifically in the context of short food supply chains and the support needed to help small farmers remain in the sector.
The visit covered the following main themes:
- Complementarity of food production and improved multifunctionality in farming through the development of autonomous projects within a large-scale organic farm;
- A local cooperative bringing together farmers and other actors from the local community with the aim to create conditions for small-scale production and income activities in the region;
- Linking small producers and small processors by creating innovative regional food products;
- Promotion of local foods consumption by linking actors along the entire value chain with the support of the Km0 Alentejo initiative.
Several field visits were made to talk with farm owners, food producers and processors to learn about the different ways they produce and market their products and the innovative ways of adding value through the creation of regional products. Additionally, the 3-day exchange served to follow the food chain of one of the Km0 products (cheese), by visiting the place of production, the processing unit, the final sale point, and the local for consumption in one of the Evora’s traditional restaurants.