Campfire Event: KPZkoALICE

Each of our 32 Beacons has the opportunity to hold a ‘campfire’. These campfires are an opportunity for members of the beacon organisation or initiative to get together and reflect on their progress and challenges so far. It’s also an opportunity to develop the narrative that will eventually feature in our Living Library.

In this latest post, Šárka Krčílková from Asociace místních potravinových iniciativ (AMPI) shares an insight into the campfire meeting held by Czech-based COACH Beacon ‘KPZkoALICE‘.

Twenty farmers and leaders of local food initiatives met in Prague to discuss the further development of community supported agriculture in the Czech Republic. In the 12 years since the first CSA was established, asociace AMPI has mapped more than 80 existing communities. In recent years, food co-ops have also begun to grow, and we feel it is time to take the movement to the next level. 

We believe that now is the time to connect existing communities and create the Czech national CSA network – KPZkoALICE as a space for sharing experiences, collaborating with each other and supporting actors of local food initiatives in the Czech Republic. Its purpose is to promote, strengthen and develop communities and to involve them in the pan-European scene. How the coalition could start functioning as a membership network next year was the main theme of the meeting.

The Campfire lasted two days. The programme involved a series of facilitated sessions around organisational themes, for example vision and future role of KPZkoALICE, its legal status and funding. This opened a huge discussion on whether to develop a network as part of AMPI or to create a new legal entity. It proved useful to clarify who the important target groups are, what KPZkoALICE can bring to them and what they bring in return.

The event was partly organised as an open space and the participants themselves could bring a theme to the programme. For example, there were discussions on how to talk about the real price of food, price versus value, how to activate consumers and get them involved. 

From a COACH perspective the most important topics identified and discussed during the event were: education, knowledge and experience sharing in food communities and mentoring for farmers and community leaders. We have lightly touched on advocacy, although it is a topic that is in its infancy and lacks the capacity to address it.

Plenty of time was also left for getting to know each other, strengthening relationships, walking around the grounds and eating local food provided by Ekocentrum Toulcův Dvůr, where the event was held. 

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