Swiss Farmers Union (SFU) on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organisation, WFO
Main responsible entity
Mr. Beat Röösli, Head of International Affairs
Since 2016, date of ending is not defined
Fonds Landschaft Schweiz (Fund for Landscape Switzerland)
Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) (www.admin.blw.ch)
Private funding by urban citizens
Farm: Archehof (www.archehof.ch)
The urbanization of Switzerland is developing fast. More and more citizens are urban and even though their ancestors had been farmers themselves, they do not know much about farming, traditional breeds and seeds, producing fresh and healthy food and how to responsibly consume it.
The project aims to attract urban people to visit farms, learn about the realities and taking responsibility by producing their own apples and juice from their own tree. Last but not least, the project shall allow the farmer family to make a living out of their small farm, which cannot exist anymore by only producing for the normal market channels. Thus, the project is showing other farmers how to innovate by providing multifunctional products and services.
Key characteristics of the experience/process
The project was very successful. Many people know the farm, become members and become a godfather family of a tree. The initiating farmer won many awards.
Key actors involved and their role
- the farmer family (www.archehof.ch)
- Pro Specie Rara (responsible organization for keeping traditional breeds and seeds alive; www.prospecierara.ch/fr/ )
- Hochstamm Suisse (national producer organization of fruits of high trunk trees, mainly for apple juice, www.hochstamm-suisse.ch)
- Interested Citizens from the agglomeration, who can even become a member of the “Archehof-Project” and contribute financially and by personal engagement.
Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
Urban people experience farming and learn a lot about the challenge of food production. They take responsibility by producing their own apples and juice from their own tree. They partner with farmers and become more sensitive for their sorrows and needs. The farmer family can gain a decent salary.
Such a project can only be a success if the initiating person is able to manage and communicate very well and taking quite a risk at the start. For the future, the main challenge is, to keep the people on board.
Innovation does not only mean to improve production processes but also services, emotions and knowledge beyond bulk food. Citicens are willing and able to take responsibility if they are made aware of such projects. The success of such a project depends fully on the initiator and his network. Private initiatives are much more successful than publicly funded ones.
Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics