A few weeks ago, RENETA organized the first training session for advisors on the topic of “supporting collective projects”.
A significant part of new entrants wishes to develop their business within a collective framework. The notion of “collective” takes several ways:
- “working with”: each farmer is independent but shares and manages common tools or part of the business;
- “working together”: the business is collective in which everyone carries out commons or separate tasks.
The choice of collective can be based on ethical (solidarity, cooperation) but also on economical (cost rationalisation, task optimisation) motivations. In all cases, cooperation requires a balance between clear and shared objectives, explicit organisation with rules and procedures and efficient communication between people.
Advisors and mentors are not always well trained for these kinds of support; some of them have set up their own support methodology and most of these are looking for time to exchange practices to enrich it.
RENETA has organised a two-session training course on this issue. The first session took place at the end of February in Paris with 12 participants, mainly advisors. Virginie Rousselin, an professional trainer working in ATAG (Association Tarnaise pour l’Agriculture de Groupe), led the session.
ATAG is an non profit organisation founded in 1993 by farmers to promote group farming and support collective projects. The Atag’s instructors have skills in project support, sociology, communication and mediation.
The two sessions are complementary:
- The first session, was to provide advisors with guidelines and keys to analysis on the support of collective projects. A focus was made on the experience of Farm Incubators.
- The second session, initially planned for the end of April, aims to build useful tools and methods for coaches. These methods will be shared with the NEWBIE partners within the toolkits and practice abstracts.