The EU Dare Project met recently, for a transnational partner meeting in the Impact Hub, Vienna. Our hosts were VABCKJS, and they did a wonderful job in hosting the meeting. Also in attendance were project partners; UPWr MMS, Mer, ARID, SUA, (ASZ attended virtually).
The EU Dare project proposes to develop a suite of resources that will increase the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, specifically agroecology, among smallholder farmers across Europe. Agroecology is a holistic and integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture and food systems.
VABCKJS-EU (Verein der Akademie für Bildung, Culture, Kunst, Jugend und Sport der Europäischen Union -European Union Education, Culture, Art, Youth and Sports Academy Association) is a Austrian Organisation with residence in Vienna, focused on training and educational development of people of all ages, especially in the areas of entrepreneurship, disabilities, agriculture, digitalisation, environment, education, art, culture, sport, youth, languages, social inclusion and rural development. They believe that education is one of the factors that most influence the advancement and progress of individuals and societies. In addition to providing knowledge, education enriches culture, spirit, values and everything that characterises us as human beings. For this reason they have specialised over the years in creating and adapting courses to the needs of their clients.
Having VABCKS-EU host this meeting was very appropriate, as the EU Dare team spent the second day of the meeting developing the curriculum and Agroecology course for Small Rural Farmers across Europe. We had an immense focus on the suitability and useability of the course for this target group. We are very conscious that farmers are out of doors predominantly and busy people so as well as creating a classroom-style course for VET educators to use we want to create an innovative multimedia course that will be more suitable for self-learning and on-the-go learning. Partners (in particular our hosts) were able to offer creative ideas and solutions as to how we will be able to achieve this. Watch our website in the coming months for updates. www.eu-dare.com
Agriculture plays an important role in Austria’s economy going far beyond the production of food. While the share of the agricultural production is less than 1.5 % of the GDP, the Austrian farmers provide services that have a positive impact on other industries. From being a substantial contributor to the high share of renewable energy (over 30%) in Austria to landscape management in the alpine regions, the Austria farmer is a role model for the multifunctional aspect of agriculture. These additional services rendered by the Austrian farmers are necessary, considering that the average farm size of 45 acres reduces competitiveness…but making the EU Dare Project really relevant and useful to the sector.
Holding the meeting in the Vienna branch of the Impact Hub was also very appropriate as our project goals and objectives are very well aligned with the ethos of the Impact Hub network. Their mission is to build a just and sustainable world where business and profit serve people and planet.
Unfortunately, this time we didn’t get to visit any of the Baroque Palaces, Vienna Secession Buildings or other impressive architecture that Vienna is famous for but we did get to enjoy a traditional Viennese meal together including Wiener Schnitzel, Goulash and of course Apple strudel.