The research project examines how agricultural initiatives based on the solidarity economy can promote the growth of organic farming in Switzerland and its neighbouring countries France, Germany, Austria, and Italy. To this end, it is important to show where the opportunities and limitations of organic farming lie in relation to the development of new, associative, and cooperative-oriented economic forms, which in themselves represent central problem areas – well beyond organic agriculture – for the sustainable renewal of current food systems. The project also investigates which agricultural policy frameworks have a conducive or hindering effect on the spread of organic initiatives based on the solidarity economy.
In addition to basic research, the transdisciplinary project aims at an interactive integration of the expertise of solidarity economy/organic farming actors from practice, policy, and research, and supports their creation of national and transnational networks. The development of a cross-cultural, transdisciplinary platform is aimed at strengthening the dialogue and exchange of experience across national, linguistic, and cultural borders, making it possible to have pro-active knowledge transfer between organic farming and solidarity agriculture beyond the duration of the project.
Further, the project aims at developing and identifying measures which support – politically, economically, socially, and financially – the conditions for promoting organic initiatives based on the solidarity economy. The measures will then be discussed and introduced as part of an enhanced “policy dialogue” between the various stakeholders and other regional and national agricultural platforms.