Newsletter 3 – Costs and benefits training

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European Training event on Costs and Benefits 

Picture: COACH participants visiting a local farmers’ market as part of the European Costs and Benefits training in Florence

The European training event took place 16-17 February in Florence. Building on the detailed analysis on Costs and Benefits conducted within COACH, the University of Florence hosted 40 participants to share the results of their analysis and exchange knowledge, including Beacons, other producers, and organisations supporting small-scale farmers. 

On the first day a variety of speakers shared their experience of building successful and resilient short food supply chains (SFSCs) as well as some of the challenges. The participants (from 10 different European countries) had opportunity to ask questions and there was some lively debate, ably translated into Italian, English, French and Spanish. The evening culminated in a meal where the conversations could continue. 

The second day participants visited different sites in the Prato area, to meet producers from GranPrato, a short cereal supply chain, visit a local farmers’ market (see pic), and taste products from GranPrato and Calafata social cooperative (part of the ConServe project). It was an enriching transition to see the theory of the previous day in practice. 

The two-day programme facilitated stimulating discussion between very different initiatives and places (from Denmark, to Hungary, Spain, to Georgia) giving opportunity for diverse perspectives on various issues relating to SFSCs. Despite these different situations, however, the themes of collaboration, diversification, understanding the needs of the local economy and knowledge exchange emerged as key. 

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