farmers dinner

developing relationships and networks among farmer for trustworthy cooperation

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Giuseppe Savino

Initiative's representative date of birth

March 14th 1981

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Italy

Headquarters location: city

Foggia, a city within a large agricultural area composed by intensive farming in the fall land and marginal rurality in the hills

Where are you making a difference?

in Foggia area, spreading now the process at Italian level and also abroad through a set of different projects

Website or social media url(s)

Date Started

january 2015

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working toward the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €100k - €250k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

a 93 years old priest inspired us. He believed that agriculture could be the best place to innovate, to generate positivity and happiness, to gather young people. He also said agriculture needs new dignity. He asked to take care of young generation and agricultural sector to make our land vital. From that moment we started a process of gathering farmers, talking to them and listening to their needs. We started using innovative communication to make agriculture appear better, we started to make the farmers being important people of society.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

1. Agricultural sector in Italy suffers of low competitiveness. There is the need to bring innovation and cooperation; 2. Agricultural sector is mainly managed by old entrepreneurs. Young farmers need to be motivated to farming and to learn about success and innovation stories; 3. Italian agriculture is mainly based on an average of 4.7 ha of arable land farms. Aggregation and cooperation need to be stimulated in order to reach a higher level of competitiveness;

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The intuition is that trust relationships, developed in a peer to peer discussion environment, increase the level of attention, the exchange of knowledge and the possibility to initiate cooperative paths and share experiences about innovations and perspectives. Contadinner is the widest listening operation in agriculture, in Italy. It involves 20 young farmers each dinner and 20 stakeholders. The Contadinners take place in a farmhouse that opens its door to neighbors, usually perceived as competitors. Each farmer brings his own products and they and their wives all cook together, with the help of a cooking chef. farmers dinner is a social-innovation format that tight people together and start new relationships among farmers and among farmers and stakeholders. Contadinner is considered a motivational format because helps young farmers interacting among each other and with stakeholders. It is an aggregative experience because it generates networks of young markets and broader networks with stakeholders and farmers.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

The farmers dinner method of initiating trustworthy relationships is based on the role of social facilitators that couple farmers and make them telling the story of the other at the end of the event. Contadinner allows for data collection about farmers participating to each dinner. This process allows generating data about perception of policies, farmers needs and expectations, farming and information sources. data are then used to build reports and suggest policy makers for new actions

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

To the moment, farmers dinner experience has allowed meeting about 2000 young farmers and generated an impact, especially online, at national and international level of more than 500 thousand reaches. The format spreading information about the importance of cooperation and collaboration within the sustainability framework (environmental, social and economic), sharing information and technology transfer has had also impact in terms of brand-new collaborations: 2 cooperatives, 1 consortium, more than 60 collaborations, 10 cooperation projects. The collaborations activated are success stories because they are referring and protecting traditions and biodiversity especially in the rural and marginal areas. By not stimulating cooperation territories will not be preserved by farmers and there would be a loss in biodiversity

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

the project has allowed involving directly about 2000 young farmers and generated an impact, especially online, at national and international level of more than 500 thousand reaches. There are some directly measurable socio-economic outputs: 2 cooperatives, 1 consortium, more than 60 collaborations, 10 cooperation projects. From the social impact point of view there is a growth in farmers life dignity and rural beauties of almost abandoned territories is brought to light with a new and model perspective. The farmers met during the initiatives are now part of a network of people that did not exist before. The network shares information, discusses about the innovation, proposed cooperation projects. Research projects financed by EU, University and Apulia Government are working on measuring social and economic impact.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

the growth strategies is based on training young teams to reproduce farmers dinner format in other parts of the world. The process will build a unique network that will be part of a broader platform. Data and outputs are going to be collected and cooperation project are going to be proposed to further stimulate the network activities.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

dignity if the first shared value. Dignity to farmers, which have been often consider at the margin of society. They do not have access to all the possibilities of city people, they are hard-workers with low salary. Inverting such a general perception is a great social value. Perception of farming from city people. Humanity as embedded value of food products. Storytelling to make people learn about rural life and human stories.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

the overall financial and investment strategy is generally based on public fundings. Being a region, within EU, with a high development priority, Apulia Region has has access to large EU fundings dedicated to agriculture. The policy plan is the Apulia Rural Devlopment Program (RDP) supports innovative projects foresees two approaches. The medium run strategy is related to the development of cooperation projects among farms. The long run idea of the business model based on social innovation is to generate a resilient community and preserve the rural heritage of the territory. The priority is set to farmers.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

We are all dedicated to agriculture regeneration but we are: architects and designers such as Chiara, Laura and Giulio, communiticator and media content professionals as Patrizia, Giuseppe and Roberto. Academics and data analysts such as Mariarosaria and Antonio. Creatives and farmers such as Giuseppe, who founded the iniatiavied. Beyond us there agronomists (Michele, Donato and Michele), social media managers (Lucia, Valeria, Donato), for a total of 15 people working at the project.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

6 evaluations so far


Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 16.7%

Maybe/no - 16.7%

No - 16.7%


5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 0%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 0%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 33.3%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 66.7%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 50%

3- Maybe. - 16.7%

2- Probably not. - 16.7%

1- No. - 16.7%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 16.7%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 16.7%

2- Probably not. - 16.7%

1- No. - 16.7%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 16.7%

1- No. - 0%


5 -Yes, absolutely! - 16.7%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 33.3%

2- Probably not. - 16.7%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 50%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 50%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 50%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 50%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 25%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 50%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 75%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 33.3%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 66.7%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 66.7%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 33.3%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%


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