Fair trade economic district in Lombardy
Seven LAGs in the Lombardy region cooperated to create the 'Fair trade economic district', which is an innovative development model to promote economic and cultural growth in rural areas.
Rural areas in Lombardia are characterised by beautiful landscapes and rich biodiversity. They also count numerous traditional agricultural and craft activities. Nevertheless most part of rural enterprises were not economically viable.
Given these circumstances, the seven LAGs of the region agreed that a common development strategy could better help them find possible solutions. Their cooperation resulted the creation of the “Fair trade economic district”. This is an innovative development model promoting economic and cultural growth in rural areas. Within the “Fair trade economic district” enterprises produce with respect to the principles of environmental and ethical sustainability and have more opportunities to cooperate and access new markets.
- Created local labels which opened new opportunities for local producers to access new markets at local and regional level.
- The cooperation led to the organisation of an organic short supply chain.
- Permanent food education programmes were developed and introduced in local schools.
- A database of local producers was created which includes information per farmer on products offered and market channels used (local shops, farm markets, restaurants, etc.).
- It helped define rules and set guidelines for bilateral and multilateral contracts.
- Participation in Horizon 2020 for the implementation of a project that highlighted the importance of small and family farms on food security and food education. This project will be probably developed through the set-up of an EIP-AGRI Operational Group.