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Lanongizan: Promoting inclusive communities from healthy and organic food
Organisation : Fundación lantegi Batuak , Spain

The Transformative Action consists of the development of an agro industrial system of organic products processing that:

-Creates job opportunities in a healthy environment and in contact with nature for disabled people, notably mentally disabled people.

-Contributes to the creation of a social covenant based on principles of justice and equality that helps the economical sustainability of already existing horticultural organic farms.

-Incentivizes the incorporation of new farms in a model changing environment that leads to new organic and sustainable agricultural production.

Agendas addressed
BiodiversityGreenfield land and natural spaceWater resources and air quality
Climate changeSocial inclusion and integrationLocal economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation
Context

Lantegi Batuak has historically considered the organic feeding sector as a suitable for employing mentally disabled people.

Because of the outdoor working conditionsin contact with nature in a healthy environment, their quality of life can be drastically improved. At Lantegi Batuak we include gardening and exterior cleaning activities (public contracts) alongside our offer of services, which we have checked to be positive and in line with our staff´s capabilities.

Many staff are undergoing an accelerated aging process and it has been demonstrated that the possibility of working in contact with the land and being able to share and eat with their relatives a product cultivated by them may help compensate self esteem issues that come from the mental disability and rapid aging process stigma.

In Action

The project has not been implemented yet. We are in the process of prototyping and launching. We forecast that it will be on the market in Autumn 2017. We count on the support and counselling of an agro-industrial expert, and more precisely in the fresh-cut sector where our project has a place.

  • The preparatory procedures to be done before implementation include:The establishment of a relations framework or Social Covenant built on written agreements and based on fair criteria of relations and rewards.
  • Investment and land conditioning.
  • Searching of public funding.
  • Development and execution of the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
  • Writing and implementation of the Good Agricultural Practices guideline.
  • Training Lantegi Batuak’s employees in farming and processing.
  • “Cloud” platform development which enables the farmers and the person leading the processing plant to connect via a management tool.

We are support by Bizkaia County Council, which has considered our project as a socially innovative project. The Basque government, through its programme Lehiatuberria, has also named our project as a strategic project for the Basque economy. In addition, the Economic Development and Infrastructure Department has included in their aims for the 2017-2020 legislature:

  • A Food Strategic Plan which will integrate the entire food value chain as a qualified sector and as an “opportunity” in the Intelligent Specialization Strategy of the Basque Country.
  • Strategic Plan: Whole Support to the Agricultural Sector Plan.
  • Support for organic farming development and processing.

  The technological centre Azti has shown its support and interest in the project and its willingness to collaborate with Lantegi Batuak in the fulfilment of the project’s objectives and future diversification. Azti will offer all its knowledge in design, new development of products related to the food sector and expertise to Lantegi Batuak. Eneek, the Basque Council for Agriculture and Ecological Food, also supports this initiative.

Results

As the project has not been implemented, we do not have availability of real data and information. We are working with forecasted results which we have used to develop the economic plan. In the first operating year we expect to net a loss. This is because of the important effort done in the business development and in the set-up due to external consultancy that has been contracted. However, we expect to net profit from the second year forward. Regarding the turnover, we foresee an increase of the 18% from year one to year two and an increase of the 27% from year two to year three. This figures are tightly calculated have included likely risks and shortfalls. These shortfalls are estimated to be around 20%. The investment pay-back is foreseen for the third year. This project offers a high level of profitability for the organization, and furthermore it allows offering to the involved farms a praiseworthy payment level through the signing of a social covenant as explained previously.

Impact

There will be a positive impact on the agricultural sector  the payment rates that the farm owners will receive, contributing to professionalizing the sector and supporting its survival. For the Lantegi Batuak workers it will mean a positive impact due to the fact that and outdoor activity in contact with nature will improve their quality of life. In addition to this, lots of our people are being or will be experiencing and accelerated aging process distinguished by memory issues, mood changes, sadness, apathy, loneliness and irritability. Facing this new challenge and focusing on helping them make the most of their capacities, our goal is to minimize the impact with the implementation of new methodologies and innovative spaces within our organization.

The goal is to generate 13 new jobs during the first year (11 of which will be for people with mental disability), 17 jobs during the second year (15 of them for people with mental disability) and 18 jobs during the third year (18 jobs for people with mental disability and 2 for non-disabled workers). Moreover, there will be jobs indirectly generated due to the effect of the activity increase at Lantegi Batuak: 35, 45 and 50 workers adding producers and support personnel. 25 organic farms involved in the project. (Small scale local opportunities) (Disadvantaged collectives´ integration)

The qualitative impact will be measured day by day, through our employees and based on individualized accompanying plans that Lantegi Batuak has independent of the ongoing activity. The quantitative impact will be measured based on the number of signed contracts and the personnel based on the number of jobs createed for the occupational service and for the special work centre.

Challenges and lessons learned

As progress is being made on the project new challenges and problems will appear which the organization will have to face. It is important to have the tasks well defined and to manage the costs and personnel based on their capabilities and abilities. The fact that their learning processes are longer it is a fact that must be taken into account. Since our products can be cultivated in all places, the capacity of the project will depend on the capability of having a fresh product all the year round.

First products
Proccess of empowerment
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Contact

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19

E-mail: info@sustainablecities.eu
Website: www.sustainablecities.eu

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