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Diversification in Rural Ireland – event report

With many farms specialising, mixed farming in Ireland is now at only 3%. This compares to an EU average of 21%. Such specialisation has made Ireland vulnerable to global events as it relies heavily on feed and fertilizer imports for an export driven agri-food sector. Meanwhile, there has been a deterioration of ecosystems and a failure to reach climate targets. So what level of agri-food diversification is possible – and desirable – in Ireland? […]

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France | Growing Vegetables, Seeding Values – Part 1

Vincent, Julie and their three employees run a small market garden in North-West France. Producing 45 vegetables, the team at La Ferme de Pitoué has learnt over the years the limits of diversification. In their garden, over coffee in the sunshine and a chorus of birdsong, Vincent tells us how they manage to stay true to their values on the farm. Part 1 of a conversation with Valérie Geslin. […]

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New Report, Events to Examine Just Transition & Farm Diversification in Rural Ireland

A new report, co-funded by ARC2020 and the Centre for Co-operative Studies at University College Cork, and set to be published in early April, will aim to unpack just what a just transition will mean for Irish farms and rural communities. It comes ahead of two events taking place at Cloughjordan Ecovillage on 22 April, which will examine practical scenarios for a just transition, and farm diversification, in rural Ireland.  […]

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Letter From The Farm | The Slower Path To Paradigm Change

We’re back on Chiara Garini’s farm at the foot of the Italian Alps. After her ambitious plans to open an on-farm restaurant, Chiara reflects on the benefits of taking the slower path to paradigm change. Paradoxically this setback serves well her overall vision of agri-food systems as the farm continues to reap the benefits of diversification. Meanwhile in local politics, divisive narratives around farming have led to a disappointing development, leaving Chiara more convinced than ever that agroecology is the way forward.   […]

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Farm Specialisation or Diversification?

Here we publish a short extract on farm diversification from the recent Feeding Ourselves Policy Document. In this piece, Matteo Metta widens the focus of diversification, while also addressing some blind spots on data gaps and value adding. For more from Matteo and many others, download the full report in the article.  […]