The first RAIN meeting in Italy

The first RAIN was held in Italy at the Orvieto Municipality the 15th September 2017 and was focused on the olive multipurpose system taking into account the whole olive oil chain.

Great participation at the RAIN meeting with 27 stakeholders, including farmers (12), multipliers such as members of trade associations and citizens (8), researchers (6) and policy makers (1). Endro Martini (Alta Scuola Association) introduced and moderated the workshop. Following the welcome of the Mayor of Orvieto (Giuseppe Germani), Andrea Pisanelli and Claudia Consalvo (respectively Innovation Broker and Partner of the RAIN, CNR-IBAF) highlighted AFINET and the workshop’s objectives. Pierluigi Paris (CNR-IBAF) presented the benefits of agroforestry systems to mitigate and contrasting climate change. Angela Augusti (CNR-IBAF) reported a study on the implementation of modelling to predict olive grove sustainability in view of climate change. Cecilia Cecchini (Sapienza University, Rome) illustrated the potential use of olive oil chain residues to build bio-materials.

Therefore, the stakeholders were invited to form three groups and discuss, by the participatory approach, of a specific issue related to the olive oil chain: climate and environment, socio-economy and policy. Each group of participants moved from a table to another in order to take part to any discussion.

The debate focused on different topics closely related to the practice of agroforestry innovation and the opportunity to increase the support of organic methods, but also to the main critical issues such as the bureaucratic complexity of EU policies, lack of culture and information of consumers on the beneficial properties of extra virgin olive oil, lack of knowledge of agroforestry systems and the need to establish experimental sites, the intensive  use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in olive growing.

The results of the participatory session are the basis for building the upcoming meetings and try to turn criticism into opportunities.

Great enthusiasm of all, we are ready for the next RAIN meeting!

If you want to know more about ITALIAN RAIN, check their Facebook pageTwitter or contact us to andrea [dot] pisanelli [at] cnr [dot] ibaf [dot] it (Andrea Pisanelli) ou claudia [dot] consalvo [at] cnr [dot] ibaf [dot] it (Claudia Consalvo).