The modern phenomenon of Social Agriculture (AS) is a possible tool for responding to the growing needs of the population both in terms of sustainable agricultural production from a social, economic and environmental point of view, and in terms of the provision of socio-health and social services. Unlike past experiences in favor of people in difficulty, it represents a model of territorial development – participatory and relational – that re-orientates local realities in the logic of service to the communities of reference.
In this sense, it is not only the result of the sum of productive activities and social activities, but something completely new and more articulated.
In fact, it is a social innovation, but also an economic and environmental innovation, capable of generating in turn other innovations in territorial contexts. During these years, the companies operating in this sector have progressively increased their awareness of the important role that these experiences have in local contexts and of the need to increase and consolidate the interactions between the various subjects of AS, through the exchange of practices and sharing a set of common principles and horizons. The Charter of the principles of the AS represents a synthesis of the reflection that in these years has matured in this field.
In a context of a very marked economic crisis that has in some ways become a structural crisis, Social Farming should not be seen only as a response to a contingent situation. The AS, in fact, embodies a generative and in some ways paradigmatic approach, which through the production of food and the practice of a welfare of contiguity redeliver regenerated communities. The AS applies a model of family and peasant agriculture committed to the production of food for its territory, experiencing, in fact, food sovereignty.
Social Agriculture aims to bring together needs, identities, protections and instances of freedom for all citizens, regardless of their abilities. In this we find the value of work not only as an individual income source, but also as a founding element of a more just, more cohesive and sustainable inclusive society.
In Italy, the AS includes the set of practices carried out by farms, social cooperatives and other Third Sector organizations, in cooperation with the social-health services and the competent public bodies of the territory, which combine the use of agricultural resources and the multifunctional production process with social activities aimed at generating inclusive benefits, favoring therapeutic, rehabilitation and care pathways, supporting the social and labor insertion of disadvantaged groups of people at risk of marginalization, favoring social cohesion , substantially and continuously.
The Forum enhances and promotes the multiple and different experiences of AS. These experiences highlight the enhancement of local identities, new cultures and the participation of young people and women involved in the implementation of highly innovative interventions regarding the production of goods, the provision of services, the creation of spaces for comparison with consumers. and the creation of alternative forms of market (short chain, GAS, etc.), to affirm a new model of agriculture.
THE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL AGRICULTURE
DIFFUSION of the AS and the INNOVATION PROCESSES
The ability of AS to be innovative and proactive in terms of quality and values means that it can be implemented in all socio-economic and environmental contexts.
Therefore it is advisable to work for its diffusion in the different national and European realities.
The CAP itself will have to change more and more towards the AS in order to strengthen its social, economic and environmental sustainability.
This process must also be addressed in different agriculture at the WORLD level.
The AS is founded by a very strong interaction between the social farms and the territory. In this relationship, and in continuity and consistency with the ethical approaches that characterize the modalities of social intervention, the AS tends firstly and progressively to a production using Biological method, or eco-sustainable productions or agro-ecological systems (Participative Guarantee Systems) , synergistic, etc.) capable of safeguarding at the same time the health of all living beings and the environment. The choice of a GMO – FREE production becomes decisive in this direction. and the prevalence of organic farming practices.
The AS develops on a logic of environmental, social and economic sustainability, with particular attention to the protection and conservation of natural resources for future generations in each individual territory. The AS also protects the environmental context through the enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage, the promotion of local specialties and excellences. The AS aims to guide companies towards energy autonomy and sustainable waste management.
MULTIFUNCTIONALITY AND DIVERSIFICATION
The AS, which “simultaneously produces” food and social-labor inclusion, is an excellent example of agricultural multi-functionality. The AS also aims to enhance multifunctional agriculture in the field of personal services, enhances quality agricultural production, experiments and innovates agricultural practices in respect of people and the environment and aims to integrate the production of goods and services with the creation of informal networks of relations.
The AS promotes healthy and balanced lifestyles and tends to raise the quality of local life in rural and peri-urban areas through the creation of social cohesion contexts and the provision of services for local people and populations.
Agriculture is based on a multiplicity of activities carried out in the different business contexts, which can be expanded and articulated through corporate diversification processes to allow the people involved in the AS processes to find the right working “collocation” not only in the productive activity strictly speaking, but also in related activities (transformation, direct sales, catering, hospitality, etc.).
The AS proposes a model of territorial and proximity welfare, based on the public action to regulate and safeguard citizens’ protections starting from the weaker groups, and sees the operators of the AS, the local institutions, the third sector and the other subjects of the territory. The organization of the welfare system is aimed at the well-being of people, at the creation of welcoming communities, which participate in its definition and benefit from it; it enhances the interaction and the relationship between the different subjects involved in the construction, implementation and use of services. These are mostly informal networks, with variable geography, born in different territorial contexts, which represent the first recognition of AS’s realities. This informal recognition is the necessary condition for any other formal accreditation.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The AS, proposing activities in contact with plants and animals, contributes to the improvement of individual well-being and of all living beings and of the health conditions of the persons involved in the therapeutic, rehabilitation and treatment processes.
RECOGNITION AND PROTECTION OF COMMON GOODS
The AS recognizes and enhances the heritage of agriculture, consisting of natural goods (land, water, landscape, etc.), material goods (tools, buildings, plant varieties, animal breeds) and the set of knowledge, values , of the traditions (intangible assets) that characterize this sector. The AS enhances the territory that, as a human habitat and a system in which nature and history intertwine, considers cultural heritage and the common good. The AS promotes and supports access to land in rural and peri-urban areas, subtracting them from abandonment and degradation, thus favoring the establishment of young people.
PRODUCTION OF RELATIONAL GOODS
The AS simultaneously produces food and relational goods through sustainable agricultural processes. The AS in fact, allows to build and consolidate significant relationships between different people by origin, experience, skills, problems and perspectives, contributing to the growth of the social capital of the territory.
SOCIAL AGRICULTURE, LEGALITY AND GOODS LIBERATED BY THE MAFIE
The AS engages in the fight against all lawlessness and in particular against organized crime, which undermines the values of society and the prospects for the future. The mafias are INCOMPATIBLE with the freedom of the people and the development of the communities. This is why the AS sets as a priority to build communities free of the mafias. The defense of the earth as a common good, the defense of the environment, the fight against social inequalities and the fight against illegality are therefore closely related. The AS collaborates with all the realities operating on land confiscated from the mafias, supporting their initiatives and promoting their products.
A MODEL OF SOCIAL COHESION
The AS operates with a broad spirit of cooperation and inclusion to all citizens, without any discrimination of sex, race, religion, and politics and places the person, in its uniqueness and at the center of its service and production system. individuality, as a bearer of petitions and rights. For this reason the proposed activities are always included in a wider project, which involves all the subjects of the territory, with the aim of giving answers to the needs of individuals and at the same time producing well-being and social cohesion. In supporting processes of social cohesion, we focus particularly on intergenerational integration, thus enhancing the transmission of knowledge and knowledge of the agricultural world and of remote techniques.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The AS promotes actions to bring all people, in particular the younger ones, closer to environmental, agricultural and social issues; to this end it organizes educational and training activities, in connection with schools and other training agencies in the area.
NETWORK AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The realities that operate within the AS work by enhancing their mutual experiences with a view to exchange and reciprocity, foster the creation of networks, territorial or thematic groups, aggregations of subjects interested in deepening the issues related to the AS and start common collaborations and projects. These realities tend to create ethical agricultural and social supply chains
PROTECTION OF THE PERSON AND WORK
The AS is attentive and engaged in the search for employment opportunities for disadvantaged people, considering work as a value and not a company cost.
The realities that act in the context of the AS respect the contractual and legislative rights of the workers, too often disregarded in the agricultural sector, and favor the professional growth of the people involved in the productive processes. There can be no real social inclusion other than starting from the transparency of the contractual relationships of the operators of AS.
In this context, the AS totally refuses to work in the fields of black work, caporalato, gender or ethnic and religious discrimination
AS AND SOCIAL ECONOMY
The AS is part of the cultural movement that sees the production of goods and services oriented not only to contain public spending and to satisfy needs, but also to strengthen the quality of social bonds, according to principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and sharing. The AS works for greater pluralism, even forms of enterprise, considering this a key to a change of course, because it is able to mobilize new energy and resources, even overcoming the traditional state-market binomial.
COMMITMENTS OF THE REALITIES THAT ADHERENCE TO THE NATIONAL FORUM OF SOCIAL AGRICULTURE
Companies, cooperatives and other production companies that adhere to the AS principles map are committed to:
- Comply with regulations and regulations concerning agriculture, environmental protection, work, etc .;
- Improve the practices adopted in terms of valorisation of natural cycles, protection of natural and landscape habitats, respect for the regenerative capacities of soils and soils;
- Respect all social security and labor rights of workers and guarantee the insurance coverage of company users not covered by specific employment contracts. In particular, reject the BLACK WORK and CAPORALATE practices;
- Promote training and qualification programs for workers for opportune professional growth;
- Reduce the risks of agricultural work by developing a culture of prevention;
- Respect the hygiene-sanitary aspects in the production of foods provided for by current regulations;
- Respect and listen to the users included in the inclusion paths or in the services, collaborate with the professional operators who carry out tutoring, mediation and social assistance;
- Develop transparent and loyal relationships with consumers approaching companies as a result of their inclusion in the social farming system;
- Apply the transparent price (evidence of the different components and the margin included in the price) in all cases where there is a direct or indirect contribution in the development of the product by the institutions or groups of purchase organized (eg Purchase Groups Solidarity – GAS);
- Marketing products of a quality suitable to consumer demand, also promoting associations and cooperatives among the companies of the AS and between these and the GAS;
- Go beyond compliance with current regulations, adopting corporate social responsibility strategies through participatory procedures that involve the disadvantaged, their families, social workers and local services in the planning and evaluation of actions undertaken;
- Return information on social work to the local reference network through informative social reporting forms.
COMMITMENTS OF THE INSTITUTIONS WHICH ADHERENCE TO THE NATIONAL FORUM OF SOCIAL AGRICULTURE
Institutions that adhere to the AS Principles Charter commit to:
- Recognize the AS through the application of rules that safeguard the innovative aspects deriving from the basic motivations, from the ability to generate meaningful relationships and from the multiplicity and novelty of the interventions;
- Promote the establishment of the solidarity economy and AS DISTRICTS;
- Promote the use of AS products in public bodies, schools, health facilities, etc .;
- Adopt tools and procedures that foster the integration of agricultural, health, labor and social policies;
- Implement communication campaigns capable of highlighting the ethical content of products of social agriculture;
- Provide economic incentives for companies that perform AS in the lines of intervention and in the terms in which they are provided for by the rules;
- Supporting the realities of AS in the procedures necessary for access to specific resources envisaged in the regional agricultural, socio-health, cultural and educational planning, and for access to credit through appropriate forms of public guarantee;
- Offer training services to promote the improvement of the skills of companies, cooperatives and other entities involved in the processes of AS;
- Promote actions of information, training, communication and territorial animation
- Adopt procedures that favor the allocation of uncultivated land and assets confiscated from the mafia and the sale of public land to the realities of the AS;
- Promote the use of AS food products in public bodies, schools, health facilities.
COMMITMENTS OF THE ORGANIZATIONS (ASSOCIATIONS, FOUNDATIONS, CONSORTIUMS, UNIONS) WHICH JOIN THE NATIONAL FORUM OF SOCIAL AGRICULTURE
Organizations that adhere to the AS Principles Charter commit to:
- Support the associated companies that carry out AS activities;
- Informing and training members on social farming practices;
- Offer training services to promote the improvement of the skills of companies, cooperatives and other entities involved in the processes of AS;
- Promote actions of information, training, communication and territorial animation;
- Respect the contractual rules and the fight against illegal work;
- Promote the establishment of AS territorial networks