Archive of European Projects

Be part of CSA! - European Participatory Training Programme for Community Supported Agriculture
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 30 Nov 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “Be part of CSA! - European Participatory Training Programme for Community Supported Agriculture” is a strategic partnership of four partners to design a European core training programme and disseminate it on local, national and European level. The partners are Association of Conscious Consumers, (co-ordinator, Hungary), PRO-BIO Liga (Czech Republic), CRIES (Romania) and the international network, URGENCI (based in France). The subject of our educational programme is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). A form of short food supply chain, where both consumers and farmers make long term commitments and share risks. Often producing organically, the ecological footprint of CSA is smaller than that of intensive agriculture. CSA is one of the best examples of sustainable food production and consumption practices. Based its innovative sustainability, business and organizational solutions, the CSA contributes to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy: the EU becomes a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. For example these partnerships ensure farmers a secure income and support the rural economy. CSA means market opportunities for small-scale farmers who are otherwise too small for local markets. Fostering local food demand also contributes to local employment. The Be part of CSA! project wishes to facilitate the spread of CSA initiatives by providing knowledge, skills and competences to local communities. The three major pillars of the project are the following: . I) To design a European core training program on CSA by 1) elaborating a modular training, by 2) elaborating supporting educational materials and by 3) running, evaluating and improving the core program. II) To assure the dissemination and the accessibility of the training program to various communities by 1) building expert capacity for staff and multipliers (volunteers of the partner organisations who will disseminate the project results in their local networks) and 3) make the training program accessible on the European level. III) For the long term sustainability of the training program, partners will build new alliances on local and international level. Our project follows the Erasmus+ priorities. It supports the development of new innovative approaches. The Be part of CSA! project provides an innovative European informal and non-formal training program of 4 modules (1. Theoretical background of and practice on CSA, 2. Starting a CSA initiative, 3. Maintaining a CSA initiative and 4. Field training). The modularity is essential: allows flexible participation for individual learners, free pass between modules and the combination of contents. It also allows tailoring the training to the exact needs of the target groups and the participation both for the knowledgeable and for the beginners. Informal and non-formal peer learning methods of the educational programme will ensure the learner-focused methodology that empowers and teaches adult learners to make commitments and form/maintain CSA communities for the sake of sustainability. The modules will build upon the advantages of the most progressive education methods, such as edutainment, films, drama pedagogy, peer learning, advanced visual methods (e.g. infographics) and on cross sectorial knowledge sharing. The target groups of the project will be 1) adult learners including present or future members of community supported agriculture communities: farmers, consumers, volunteers, facilitators etc.; 2) multiplicators (volunteers of the partner organisations who will disseminate the project results in their local networks); 3) staff and trainers of the project partners; 4) media; 5) General public; 6) Decision-makers and experts and 7) allies. During the project period, 1) four training events will be organized in 3 countries, with the participation of 180 adult learners; 2) education content and supporting training materials will be improved and tested with the target audience (such as training plans, booklets for adult learners, guide for trainers, short film, crop planner ICT application, visual materials) and 3) a European multiplier event will be organised. Through dissemination, partners will address allies, organise meetings with decision-makers and experts, as well as disseminate the results to the wider audience reaching 32 European countries and thousands of people (at least 200 000). The learner based methodology will contribute in short term to the deeper understanding of the concept of CSA, provide target groups with transversal skills and facilitates the promotion of the training programme. The dissemination and post-project use of the project results will contribute to the emergence of strong, community based local enterprises in rural regions of Europe.
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