UA Enterprises

ARVAIA



  1. SHORT DESCRIPTION: Arvaia is a cooperative of “organic urban farmers” founded in February 2013 in Bologna (Italy). Arvaia works primarily in the field of vegetable crop production, although it also produces arable crops. Arvaia is a city farm that is contextualised in a green area called “Parco Città Campagna” (City Countryside Park) within the urban area of Bologna. Arvaia is inspired to CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model, although is situated in a public park. It is, therefore, a project of participative management of commons with the purpose of subsistence, which also has among its aims the employment, increase of social participation, monitoring and defend of the territory, the spread of organic/biodynamic growing methods, the downsizing of the market and of monetary exchange. The reference community is the citizens of the city of Bologna, who participate in the farm works and utilise the food produced in the cooperative. Arvaia counts 260 associate members; about 120 members are the users who regularly (but with different frequency) participate in the daily agricultural activities. Arvaia also is an educational farm for schools and adults, who participate in the agricultural activities in order to learn techniques of organic and biodynamic agriculture.
  2. KEY ACTIVITIES: The main activity of the cooperative is the production of vegetables. The entire productive area has been recently extended from 3 to about 50 ha. The care of the land and cultivation promoted by the cooperative follow the philosophy of sustainable family farming, organic and biodynamic methods are employed. This is done in order to privilege, where possible, the use of human labour instead of the use of capitals. No certification or label are utilised because it is preferred the direct control by the associates. Members meet regularly in order to define operational strategies and the planning of crops. The vegetables are collected weekly and sent to 7 points of distribution in the city. Arvaia also organises educational events in the field where it explains various issues related to rural life in order to increase consciousness of the importance of quality food for health.
  3. RELEVANT DIMENSION: CSA, Community supported agriculture, organic farming, multifunctional agriculture.
  4. BUSINESS MODELS: Shared economy (social inclusion, participation)