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Approvo

Read Up Project - Sustainable and socially responsible employment development: contribution of newagricultural models, tool for integration and revitalization of rural areasPROGETTO EUROPEO Réf.No: VS/2019/003/0026 finanziato dalla Commissione Europea DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

ENSustainable and socially responsible employment development: contribution of newagricultural models, tool for integration and revitalization of rural areas

SYNTHESIS OF THE READ UP PROJECT

I
n Italy, more than in other European countries, production activities are based on local, cultural and environmental factors. They are characterised by an agricultural development that is still closely linked to a variety of elements such as local relations' networks, family and social relations and environmental aspects.

Such organisation allows for an agricultural model that is more focused on those production's modes where the valorisation of labour is strictly linked to quality productions, local products and a particular care, safeguard and preservation of the environment. Moreover, in Italy, where this kind of agriculture is widespread, organic farming has been particularly developed.

Despite the structural changes that have taken place in the last years within the Italian agricultural sector, small farmers are still predominant. Such peculiarity, rather than being considered as an opportunity worth of attention and resources, has often been perceived, also at a European political level, as a criticality in terms of modernisation and development of the agri-food supply chain. Data taken on the equity of resources' distribution speak for themselves, one for all: 40% of European farmers do not receive any kind of support from the CAP's first pillar.

In Italy, probably more than in other European countries, production is based on local, cultural and environmental factors and it is characterised by a number of strategies adopted by farmers that are linked to various elements: local relations' networks, family relations and social and environmental values.

Italian agriculture is more focused on those production's processes where the valorisation of labour is linked to high-quality production, authentic products and the safeguard of territories and farms.

Is this exclusively an Italian phenomenon or is this the case also for other European countries? Who are " small farmers", the "active" ones who should not be discriminated and who should rather benefit from a greater consideration as far as resources, fiscal incentives and social security coverages are concerned? What is the situation in Europe? To what extent do "part time farmers" that we still call "mixed activity farmers" play a role in keeping our agriculture alive, keeping the soil in good conditions and preserving the territory? How these "atypical" activities have been developed and what are their features? What role can they play in the development of a skilled and quality work, based on the knowledge transmission and young people inclusion? What are the perspectives that the future CAP can offer?

These are some of the questions we will try to answer through our project. These same questions are framed in the wider debate opened by the European institutions (European Parliament Resolution: the Future of Food and Farming) on how to "recognise and value" the role of small farmers and their peculiar ability to foster local markets and give them an added value compared to big businesses.

The agricultural model we intend to study and analyse further in depth in this project is a subject of particular interest for the European Union who is looking for new measures to support what is known as family farming.

European institutions rightly consider this kind of agriculture as a model which is "flexible, able to foster the local market, to be original and create a greater added value compared to big farms".

The project aims at assessing such phenomenon in a significant number of countries in order to set the conditions to give a common legal definition to such activity: the recognition of a status for a kind of labour that contributes to tackle the challenges of modern farming able to preserve the environment, landscapes, biodiversity and soils, revitalise and develop rural areas, create more and skilled jobs.