Wellbeing of Farmers: Mental Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing
Key Challenges: Low farm income (market vulnerability)
Key Target Groups: Young farmers, Female farmers, Older farmers
Farm Size: Small/Family
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Key contact: Tibor Szabó
Organization: Open Farm Network of Zala Valley
In 2018, the farmers, local producers and agrotourism service providers of Zala Valley formed the Zala Valley Open Farm network. The network currently has 28 members. The aim of the cooperating members is to provide the local residents and visitors with quality, locally produced products and quality services. The most important commitment of the cooperating farmers is to regularly announce open days and events for costumers and those interested. The organizational and financial background of the network is provided by the LEADER Local Action Group.
The activities are based on strong cooperation of the members (joint marketing and application for funds, connected services, joint lobbying and trainings). The network’s work resulted already in the short term the cohesive and retaining power of the community, the mutual assistance, the increased prestige of local producers, and the improved professional and interest representation
- Trust-based strong cooperation of local farmers, food manufacturers, and agro-touristic service providers along shared goals and values.
- Strong retaining and inspiring power of the network through the cooperation (prestige, mutual help, strong lobbying power etc.)
- Increasing farmers financial stability by establishing a short supply chain
- High quality and healthy food for local consumers.
- Attitude shaping towards healthy living, nutrition, and traditional farming.
- Preserving and presentation of local traditions.
- Building and managing a strong network of small farmers, food manufacturers, and agro-touristic service providers along shared values.
- The networks’ activities are: organizing open days regularly as well as being open to demonstrate farming activities.
- Organizing community programmes for members and locals.
- Common application for grants supporting investments.
- Receiving and educating visitors (potential customers, children etc.) on healthy living and nutrition as well as traditional ways of farming and food processing.
- Representation of the network in professional forums.
- Joint marketing.
- Providing information and training for members based on emerging needs.
Main Outcome of the activity
- Signing the founding charter based on common values and objectives
- Increasing professional network and knowledge
- 28 active members and 10 candidates
- Small investments
- Significant lobbying power
- Good reputation and prestige
Main Practical Recommendations
The Open Farm Network of Zala Valley is a social innovation that addresses the wellbeing of local farmers and their families, as well as the social, economic and environmental sustainability of their farming activity.
The network can be considered as a best practice of increasing wellbeing through cooperation, organization, product and service development.
Key Stakeholders Involved
- Zala Thermal Valley LEADER Local Action Group
- Local farmers and food processors
Most Innovative Aspects of the Solution
Organisational innovation, by building a cooperation network between the individual farmers, and between the farmers as a group and other local and professional actors.
Service innovation by internally providing the professional organizing, marketing and administrative background for its members, and externally by offering a ‘package’ of products, services and experiences for the local consumers and foreign tourists.