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Could Social Farming Be a Strategy to Support Food Sovereignty in Europe?

Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain
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Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue European Landscapes and Quality of Life)
Food sovereignty (FS) aims to obtain value-added products in proximity agriculture (PA) in order to achieve food security in a country. Social farming (SF) can help to develop this PA as well as favoring integration of people at risk of social exclusion (RSE). The methodology includes a review of the literature, a survey of 161 SF projects in Catalonia, and ten selected in-depth interviews. “Social Return on Investment” (SROI) methodology is also applied to assess the efficiency of the projects analyzed. The results show the economic, social, and environmental viability of the majority of the SF projects which, also favored by FS and PA, allows the development of innovative experiences and sustainable forms of governance. SF has been carried out in different ways in European countries, although with the common aims of benefitting people at RSE, and using the natural environment and PA through projects basically promoted by Third Sector entities. Management of these projects is in the hands of foundations and non-profit companies making top-down decisions, and in cooperatives and associations, where decision-making is bottom-up. It can be concluded that the promotion of SF can favor PA, and therefore, FS in Europe. View Full-Text
Keywords: Catalonia; Europe; food sovereignty; governance; people at risk of social exclusion; proximity agriculture; social farming; social return on investment; Third Sector Catalonia; Europe; food sovereignty; governance; people at risk of social exclusion; proximity agriculture; social farming; social return on investment; Third Sector
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Tulla, A.F.; Vera, A. Could Social Farming Be a Strategy to Support Food Sovereignty in Europe? Land 2019, 8, 78.

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