New approaches to sustainable rural development: Social farming as an opportunity in Europe?

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Issue: Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017

Abstract


The so-called “Green Revolution” has marginalized and depopulated many rural areas, but economic diversification has emerged since the 1980s. Consumer appreciation for organic farming and proximity sourcing has increased, and farmers have responded to this market. Since 2008 the economic crisis has led to importation of low-quality food products at an unsustainable level of energy costs, and the lack of employment opportunity has led people to seek economic opportunities in the countryside, producing foods with ecological criteria for short food supply chains. Within this scenario, Social Farming (SF) has appeared as a multifunctional innovative strategy. It gives a return to society through the production and processing of agricultural products by incorporating direct social benefits in employment, training, and therapy or rehabilitation of groups at risk of social exclusion. SF offers social cohesion, empowerment of vulnerable groups, local development in rural and peri-urban settings, and an equitable balance between revenues and costs to society.

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Authors Affiliations


Antoni F. Tulla*, Ana Vera, Natàlia Valldeperas, Carles Guirado
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
* Corresponding author. Email: antoni.tulla@uab.cat

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