Day 3 in Rome: Fellows visit the Campagna Amica farmers’ market

Day 3 in Rome: Fellows visit the Campagna Amica farmers’ market

With the support of new found friends in Bioversity International: Martina, Eliot and Arturo, the TIP Fellows visited a Farmers’ Market in the heart of Rome, Italy on 22nd June, 2019. Promoted by Coldiretti, Fondazione Campagna Amica was founded in 2008. Its main aim is to promote direct selling of local and seasonal food products by farmers. With half million members, Coldiretti is the leading organisation of farmers at national and European level. On this day, the Fellows had an interaction with some key producers who also happen to have close contacts with Slow Food International.


Members present:

Martina, Intern, Bioversity International
Arturo Turillazzi, Intern, Bioversity International
Eliot Gee, Research Fellow,  Bioversity International
Chenxiang Marak, TIP Fellow, India
Edgar Monte, TIP Fellow, Mexico
Merrysha Nongrum, TIP Fellow, India
Pius Ranee, Ex-TIP Fellow and TIP Consultant

Venue: Circo Massimo, Metropolitan city of Rome, Italy
Timing: 9:30 AM-12:30 PM
Date: 22nd June, 2019


Objectives:

  • To explore the farmers’ market in order to get some innovative ideas that can be further improved (Particularly for the farmers’ market in Meghalaya)
  • To have a better understanding about the overall management of the market.

Young people selling their products

Key findings:

  • Market is held twice a week, i.e. every Saturday and Sunday.
  • Organisations like Campagna Amica and Slow Food provide capacity building for the producers before bringing products to the market.
  • Seasonal calendar

    Producers have to pay rent @100 euro/month/ per square meter. They also have to take care of their own logistics.

  • The product rates are higher as compared to other markets in Rome.
  • Products are displayed in a well-organised way with proper packaging.
  • Seasonal calendars are displayed everywhere. Seasonal calendars for fruits, vegetables and fish are prepared separately.
  • The venue has more than 50 stalls. Interestingly, every stall has got a taste section with the help of trained volunteers.
  • In front of the market, there is an information desk.
  • Some unique products were brought to the market with a story behind the product.

For a better understanding of the overall management of the market, a meeting has been fixed with the organiser on 29th June, 2019.

The stall highlights the Presium project of Slow Food

Ideas to take away:

  • Farmers who come for the farmers’ market need to have a proper orientation. This will help in fostering close connections between the producers and consumers.
  • We need to identify interested volunteers to be a part of the market. With such people, a small training is necessary.
  • Engage local TV channels and print media to help in publicising the market.
  • Communication materials like seasonal calendars, posters, etc., need to be distributed to the customers.
  • The registration desk can also act as an information desk. People/volunteers who sit in this area need to have a proper knowledge of the products, etc.

Fellow Merrysha Nongrum infront of a stall at the Farmers’ market

Comments from Fellows:

In Campagna Amica- Farmers’ market, I could see that there is an increased awareness among the consumers towards local foods. A simple tool like a seasonality calendar is very much appreciated by the customers.” – Chenxiang Marak

Campagna Amica is a good model to promote the idea of a farmers’ market. One of the best selling points that this market holds is the aspect of sustainability. Hopefully the meeting with the organiser on 29th June, 2019 will bring out some of the key lessons that could be useful to run a farmers’ market in a sustainable manner.”- Pius Ranee.

“Besides co-operatives, Campagna Amica- Farmers’ market also includes other interested individuals who are in the same line of their philosophy.”- Merrysha Nongrum

“Now I believe a farmers’ market can become a great platform to pass on the knowledge to the next generation because I could see many farmers selling their products with their children.”- Edgar Osvaldo Monte Borges 

Fellows with Arturo and Martina at the Farmers’ market

New friends of the TIP Fellows:

1.      Eliot Gee grew up in a renovated barn in upstate New York, where his artist parents have ducks and a self-sustaining garden. Two years teaching in rural China and Thailand made him realize the importance of food as it relates to culture, migration, and pretty much everything else. He has worked at Bioversity since early 2018, and previously lived in London where he taught Chinese cooking workshops.

2.      Arturo Turillazzi is from Italy. He did some research in the Sadhana Forest Reforestation Project in Tamilnadu.  He brought out the importance of trees, soil as a water sponge and led us to desire to have a greater understanding of the water cycle on which Bah Phrang will have more sessions with us and also for getting a fuller meaning of ecosystem services.

3.      Martina De Felice is from Italy. Currently, she is an assistant of the BFN team (Bioversity for Food and Nutrition) at Bioversity International. She is actively involved in organising hands on training events on biodiversity for the TIP Fellows.

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