On the 2nd of December 2022, an inspiring meeting of Framework's Czech Farmer Cluster took place at Veritas Winery in Velke Hosteradky. The meeting brought together key stakeholders with a shared interest in biodiversity and sustainable rural development to discuss ongoing collaboration and new initiatives.
Bringing Together Local Stakeholders
Farm businesses attendees from the Czech Cluster were pleased to be hosted by the Veritas winery. It was great to bring different stakeholders from the region's rural economy together to discuss sustainable food production that supports biodiversity and unlocks business and community benefits. The Cluster meeting also saw the participation of two village majors from neighbouring communities, demonstrating a united front in support of the biodiversity path initiative. Their collaboration showcased the shared vision for a sustainable future, where ecologically sustainable practices and rural economies work hand in hand. Framework researchers Iris Bohnet and Kristyna Drhliková from also attended, as the Cluster is supported by The Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS).
Collaboration with Friends of the Earth Czech Republic
A notable participant was Hnuti Duha, from the Friends of the Earth Czech Republic. Their successful funding acquisition for a farmland biodiversity project, aligned with Framework's Farmer Cluster approach, piqued the interest of the Czech Farmer Cluster. Hnuti Duha's expertise and experience in establishing a biodiversity path made them an invaluable resource in the meeting. The prospect of collaboration between Hnuti Duha and the Czech FC holds immense potential for knowledge-sharing and innovative solutions.
The Biodiversity Path Initiative
The primary focus of the Farmer Cluster meeting was the planning and development of the biodiversity path. Envisaged as a social capital-building project, the path would connect Velke Hosteradky, Bosovice, and several Farmer Cliuster farms. This connection would serve as a showcase for local farmers and their sustainable practices, highlighting products like wine, jams, cereals, and wildlife habitats.
Recreational and Educational Opportunities
The biodiversity path seeks to offer more than just a physical link between communities and farms. It aimed to provide recreational and educational opportunities for visitors. Interactive apps along the path would engage and educate people about farmland biodiversity, featuring information about plants and animals in the region. Visitors could also indulge in wine tasting at Veritas Winery, supporting local businesses, and learn about the social farm project.
Engagement and Regional Funding
To bring the vision of the biodiversity path to life, CULS (Czech University of Life Sciences) has supported the municipalities of Velke Hosteradky and Bosovice, as well as the social farm, in preparing regional funding applications. These applications, submitted in February 2023, held the promise of securing financial support for the project. The eagerly awaited announcement in June 2023 would reveal whether the hard work and dedication of the stakeholders had borne fruit.
The Czech Farmer Cluster meeting at Veritas Winery marked an important regional milestone in the pursuit of biodiversity-friendly farming, sustainable rural development, and community collaboration. With a shared focus on establishing a biodiversity path, the meeting brought together local leaders, the Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, and farmers committed to more sustainable practices. The envisioned path holds the potential to create a stronger sense of community, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster appreciation for farmland biodiversity. The region eagerly awaits the outcome of the funding applications. But regardless of the the outcome, the Veritas Winery Farmer Cluster meeting reminded us of the power of local collective action and shared goals in shaping a greener and more sustainable future.