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Meet the switchers: Sustainable agriculture & food

Find out 10 successful sustainable food and agriculture projects 

 


Why sustainable food is important?

Agriculture, and food, is an strategic sector to be rethought in order to develop an scale-up eco and social innovative solutions in the Mediterranean, making an impact for sustainable living. 
Initiatives carried out by change makers (The switchers) related to food consumption or production have an strong ecological and social component to be featured in order to inspire projects to future Switchers, and to be replied.



What did we aim at?

The session is the space given to the switchers to explain their project to SwitchMed Connect assistants and their needs/challenges. They have made the exercise to synthesize the core of their initiative, in order to present them in 4 minutes each one (no more than 10 slides).

The Switchers have also had the chance to receive feedback from the audience, as well as questions to clarify certain aspects of each project. Doing so, not only they have gained valuable insight from a variety of people, but also have been able to deepen aspects that they hadn’t had the time to explore in their short presentation. Within this part, the switchers have been supported with a graphic design created in a specific workshop in order to synthetize, graphically, the essence of the initiative, helping the audience to fully understand the core of their activity.

Another objective of the session is to let people know what switchers are doing in order to scale up these patterns of change makers. 



Find out 10 successful sustainable food and agriculture projects 

The presentations allowed the audience to learn about successful cases of Sustainable food, knowing the goals of the projects, their business models, as well as the way in which the initiatives are sustainably and successfully inserted in their social and environmental local contexts. The session was facilitated by Aurélie Salvaire, and co-host by Global Footprint Network, represented by Alessandro Galli (Director).

The switchers presented are initiatives that contribute to achieve essential objectives to reach a sustainable agriculture framework, such as:

  • Increase the consumer’s awareness and commitment with environment in the choice of the diet.
  • Importance to share know how using all possible systems (open source knowledge sharing mechanisms…) in order to scale up suitable patterns, as those presented in this session.
  • Social justice and fair distribution of incomes from agriculture production. 

 

  1. HAK2 (Bekir Salih) This company has developed a patented system that treats pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from combustion units and converts them to fertilizer.
  2. LivingGreen (Moti Cohen). This company specializes in the design and construction of Aquaponics systems - a technique for food production resulting from the merger between aquaculture (fish farming in a closed environment) and hydroponics (soilless cultivation of plants).
  3. Peix al Plat (Giuliano Petroni). A social company dedicated to responsible fish consumption. It focuses on raising consumer’s awareness about the status of overexploitation of marine resources in order to take action to protect the oceans and its biodiversity.
  4. Souk El Tayeb (Mouzawak Kamal). A social entrepreneurship initiative that provides market opportunities through its weekly market and its restaurants to organic farming products. Its core objective is to give fair market opportunities to small scale traditional and organic products.
  5. Shaduf (Tarek Hosny). A company specialized in creating green walls and rooftop farm. It provides high end landscaping eco solutions for corporations as well as a low-tech profit generating solution for the low-income families.
  6. Biôdome (Fatima Beraich). A company specialized in the construction of agricultural biogas plants for small farmers, on the basis of anaerobic digestion is an industrial system that recycles organic waste by producing renewable energy and fertilizer.
  7. Pep Lemon (Carme Verdaguer). By partnering with local organizations, this society has created a value chain and enhances waste lemons turning them into lemonade. The foundation Amadip.esment - dedicated to the integration into the labour market of people with mental disabilities - is responsible for handling and processing the lemonade. Glass bottles and production materials are reused.
  8.  Nawaya (Laura Tazen). This collective is dedicated to research, education and creating connections. It develops participatory programs in rural community to innovate and apply good practice in the fields of sustainable land-use and agriculture, appropriate technology and educational curricula for rural development.
  9. Espigoladors (Raquel Díaz –Ruiz). An association that develops a business model with impact on three problems (social and environmental): food waste; the lack of access to wholesome, healthy and nutritious food by some groups that are in a situation of vulnerability; and the lack of opportunities for theses groups. This social business model has an impact on dignifying people who are in critical situation and, at the same time, it sensitises the general population about food waste.
  10. Tunis Coop (Hadda Naoufel). A consumer cooperative that aims to promote short circuits in commercialization of agricultural products to help developing sustainable production and responsible consumption.

 

Sustainable agriculture has been observed and approached from the point of view of consumers, farmers, scientific and technicians. The result has been an holistic approach to exemplar ideas, most of them working for a systemic eco and social change,  regarding organization systems, waste profit efficiency, water use efficiency, how to preserve the sea, sustainable land use…. The stories presented have been from all around the Mediterranean: Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Spain, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. 

It has to be also pointed out some common switchers challenges like to find support (financial and technical) and to identify the best way to share their ideas and technology.

 










Some quotes:

“The growth strategy of Pep Lemon would be to implement the proximity model “Pep Lemon” in Mediterranean areas. Export the model, not the bottles!”. Pep Lemon
“Short circuits to strengthen the link between consumers and farmers”. Tunis Coop



Let's continue the discussion

You can join and contribute the discussion on Sustainable food and agriculture continuing in the session community here. You can also download the presentations here. In that community we encourage you to post your own reflections, experiences and questions. Keep engaging and shaping the content of SwitchMed Connect 2016.