BOND Project: Bringing Organisations and Network Development to higher levels in the farming sector in Europe
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Universidad de Cordoba (Spain), Wageningen University (Netherlands), Asociata Obsteasca PRoentranse (Republic of Moldova), Confederacao Nacional da Agricultura (Portugal), The Land Worker Alliance (UK), Asociatia Eco Ruralis (Romania), Norsk Landbrukssamvirke (Norway), Coordinadora de Agricultores y Ganaderos de la Communidad Valenciana (Spain), Sindicato Labrego Gallego (Spain), Vedegylet Egyesulet (Hungary), Kislepteku (Hungary), Spoleczny Instytut (Poland), Asociace Misnigh Potravinovych (Czech Republic), Federation Nationale des Cooperatives d’Utilisation de Materiel Agricole (France), Associazione Nazionale Cooperative agroitticoalimentari (Italy).
The aim of this project is to reach higher levels of organisation and networking, and develop a healthier, and more productive and harmonious farming sector in Europe for the long term. This will be achieved through (i) drawing up solutions from case studies and success stories and building bonding capital within farmer and land manager groups, ensuring cohesiveness and trust among people; (ii) enabling different organizations to come closer together, building bridging capital to form larger networks; and (iii) building linking capital, developing ties with entities with different interests and powers, to reach a stronger position in decision-making.
BOND acknowledges the fundamental role farmers and land managers play in the environmental and economic sustainability of the farming sector in Europe, as well as the importance of the way they organise, on Europe’s foods and landscapes.
BOND contributes to unleash, strengthen, and organise, the great potential for collective action and networking of individuals, groups and entities of farmers and land managers, focusing on countries with lower organisation levels, with a view to creating strong, dynamic and effective organizations that have a voice and a place in policy design.
More specifically, BOND investigates and addresses the constraints and disincentives, and reaches a higher level of participation of farmers as follows:
- Draw up solutions and build bonding capital within groups, ensuring cohesiveness and trust among people;
- Enable organizations to come closer, building bridging capital to form larger networks, help overcome attitudes and constraints that impede collective action;
- Build linking capital, developing ties with entities with different interests and powers, including government, donors, academia, private sector, to reach a stronger position in decision-making, and
- Engage multi actors and policy makers throughout these processes.
BOND’s approach relies on 3 pillars: SEE-learning from success (mobilisation, study tours), LEARN-overcoming constraints (self-analysis, capacity building), TELL-affirming a position in the policy landscape (gaming interface, best practice in regulation, lab experiment), and on involving the youth, women and men (designing a road map for the future), with training sessions and meeting events at every step of the project (interregional forum, national workshops, regional policy roundtables, youth forum).
BOND’s legacy will be a menu a la carte of practical processes, user-friendly, with methods and tools to guide end-users when they decide to engage and benefit from the synergies of working with others.
Innovative designs of sustainable agro-hydro-health systems
Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, the British Council and Akademi Sains Malaysia will be holding a 5-day workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia commencing on 31 July 2017. The workshop is being coordinated by Professor Sue Charlesworth (Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University) and Associate Professor Dr. Abdul Halim Ghazali (Universiti Putra Malaysia), and will have contributions from other leading researchers. The workshop will explore the following research topics in relation to ‘off-grid’ communities.
Blooms for Bees
Blooms for Bees aims to promote bee-friendly gardening and encourage citizen scientists from across the UK to explore the presence and floral preferences of bumblebees in their gardens and allotments.
Austerity Retail in Britain
This project aims to critically examine the emergence of what we call ‘austerity retail’ initiatives amidst rising food poverty in Britain. These include ‘social supermarkets’ and other forms of ‘community shop’ offering highly discounted products, and often making use of ‘surplus’ or ‘rejected’ foods which would otherwise be thrown away. We plan to use the findings from this project as a platform to explore a larger research project on austerity retail initiatives in the particular context of food poverty in Coventry.