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On September 29, we organized the HelpFood 4.0 workshop to create communities of producers and consumers for sustainable agriculture. A conference that took place within the framework of the Smart Agrifood fair in Malaga, the largest event of innovation and digitization of the agri-food chain in Europe.
This workshop is part of our Helpfood project, which deepens the role of food as an element of reconnection between farmers, citizens and consumers (that is, citizens more aware of food problems) through the promotion of agriculture models supported by the consumer community as examples of sustainable food production, distribution and consumption.
Until the event, different agents who work in the field of agriculture and irrigation in the region of Malaga attended to learn about new sustainable models of agriculture and share the concerns and worries that this sector faces. The workshop was presented by our colleague Sara Hernández who was in charge of introducing us to the HelpFood project and leading the subsequent round table.
During the conference we were lucky enough to also have Sara Favargiotti, Associate Professor of Landscape Design at the University of Trento and partner in our Helpfood project, to talk about her experience in the Trentino area and the context of the area. She also presented us in detail the different communities that currently exist in Trentino between farmers and consumers, such as Orto San Marco – Setàp, L’Ortazzo, Edera-Emporio di Comunità and CSA Naturalmente in Trentino; and how the HelpFood project is going to work to support its development.
Another of the speakers who accompanied us in the workshop was Ana Castillo, Professor of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of Malaga, who presented us with two projects in which the University of Malaga participates related to food and sustainable consumption, and whose contents seek serve as a tool to raise awareness and inform the population about it. These projects are FAIRFOOD on fair food for smart living and CARE dedicated to educating consumers about environmental responsibility.
Finally, we close the workshop with a round table to discuss the current situation of farmers and consumers in the province of Malaga. At the table we had the presence of Alberto Jiménez, coordinator of the Research and Citizen Science line at Ecoherencia; Margarita Jiménez, coordinator of the Agrifood Area of the Rural Development Group of the Guadalhorce Valley; and Manuel Giménez, secretary of the Guadalhorce Ecológico Cooperative. Thanks to them we were able to learn about the reality of the producers and learn about some studies that are being carried out in the province of Malaga, about the agroecological synergies that exist in the different regions of Malaga or the project that there is in Ronda to recover the cereals and traditional flours and implement them in local bakeries, among others. Thanks to the public, we were also able to discuss the strengths that Malaga has to promote the consumption of its local products, such as its strategic location or its good climate throughout the year, in addition to commenting on the challenges it currently faces, such as the lack of support from the institutions.
In this workshop it became clear, therefore, that Malaga has enormous potential to continue developing responsible and sustainable agriculture, and that the support of the citizens and the administrations of the province is essential for this.
With the aim of starting to make contacts to create a community of farmers and consumers in Malaga, during the two days that the Smart Agrifood fair took place we had a stand dedicated to HelpFood where different curious people were able to get to know the Bioazul staff and discover all details about the project.
Another of the activities that we carried out taking advantage of the visit of our colleagues from the University of Trento from the Helpfood project was to take a guided tour of the RichWater treatment plant in Algarrobo, where, together with our colleagues Rafael Casielles and David Frías, they were able to learn about its operation.
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