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Examples of Initiatives and Alliances

In this article Amelie presents the Farm-Food-Climate Challenge.
Maize harvest
© This work by Amelie Riedesel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

The Farm-Food-Climate Challenge is an innovation program that supports new solutions and methods of collaboration in order to transform the agrifood system. It was launched in September 2020 and is partly funded by the German Ministry of Agriculture.

Farm-Food-Climate Initiatives that are supported:

Biodivers develops a digital information platform that makes it easier for farmers to access funding and maximize the widespread implementation of environmental protection measures.

Climate Farmers builds the infrastructure needed to scale regenerative agriculture across Europe.

Invisible Foods helps reduce food waste along the production and supply chain by tracking and forecasting losses, helping companies develop new upcycled products, and rewarding food waste reduction efforts with a data-driven certificate.

Farm-Food-Climate Alliances

Agroforestry – A new coalition

The initiatives Triebwerk and Soulfood Forest Farms share the goal of supporting farmers in implementing agroforestry systems. The initiators met at the Farm-Food-Climate bootcamp where they matched both personally and thematically. According to Triebwerk’s founder, this connection and friendship is the greatest benefit from the Farm-Food-Climate Challenge.

Together they want to create agroforestry lighthouse farms that bring to life the potential of agriculture as a solution for a variety of challenges. An example is the Werragut in central Germany. While the expertise of Soulfood Forest Farms lies in planning agroforestry systems internationally, Triebwerk’s experiences center around the practical implementation and planting in Germany. Thus, both initiatives complement each other, which is one of the successful factors of their collaboration.

Alternative Trade – A network within a network

Eight like-minded initiatives have formed a working group to join forces in offering fair and sustainable alternatives in contrast to traditional large conventional trade suppliers. While all of them are from different regions and work with different approaches they realized that they are stronger together to reach their common mission.

The different approaches complement each other: one creates a software for regional trade, another develops demand analysis tools for alternative products, others have membership store models etc.. As one initiator puts it: “It is not only about our individual projects, but about the issues that concern all of us, such as strengthening regional trade structures.” Thus, the initiatives plan to implement projects together, such as political campaign work or collectively engaging with retail, setting up panel discussions to raise awareness.

Carbon Valley – Biochar for carbon neutrality

With the Carbon Valley project, initiatives and experts aim to pilot the use of biochar, raise awareness on the technology, build knowledge and provide lighthouse projects and best practices. The collaboration really kicked off with a scholarship that was awarded to the working group leader. After coming up with different business cases for the use of biochar, the group is now in contact with municipalities and farmers to start first pilot projects.

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TASK

Do you know of any open social innovation initiatives in your region or country? Please explain in a few words what they do and share the link in the comments.

© This work by Amelie Riedesel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
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Openness in Science and Innovation

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