A comprehensive outlook on the diversity of agroecological initiatives in Europe: from farming systems to food systems

The agroecological initiatives show the great importance of integration of farming systems in their territory for developing a range of services. Agroecological systems develop diverse relationships with other actors of local communities; in first place other farmers for knowledge exchange and cooperation. Complementarities and collective dynamics between production systems at local level are frequently implemented. The role of small farms in these complementarities can be crucial, unfortunately such models of farming systems are poorly supported by public policies. Local authorities can contribute to the development of this cooperation by proposing an adequate frame for farmers to organize together. Sensitize local people, children in first place, to the issues of sustainable farming and food system, is a strategic action to be undertaken urgently. Direct producer—consumer relationships go in this sense but could be better supported, as it is a matter of socioeconomic development. Research, advisory and development services also play a role in this story, acting as knowledge catalysts and contributing to the commitment of farmers and local communities in sustainability issues, e.g. by providing tools to develop adapted land use and practices for sustainable resource management and landscape preservation."