Planting the seeds of sustainable development in Andalusia

Climate change in the Andalusia region has caused soil erosion and a loss of biodiversity, putting ecosystems under threat and leading to a decline in the variety of plants and animals. Decades of poor farming practices have also compromised the productivity of the land and incomes have dropped, affecting the long term prospects of the community. With the profitability of small-scale farming in decline, the next generation is migrating to the cities for employment rather than working on the land and the future of farming is in jeopardy.

The TUI Care Foundation is working with local partner AlVelAl to restore the landscape in the high plateau of southern Spain, a region of one million hectares which is home to 250,000 people.  

In partnership with AlVelAl, the TUI Care Foundation is training farmers in regenerative agricultural techniques which will help to reduce soil erosion, boost productivity and promote the production of sustainable and healthy produce such as almonds, olive oil, honey and wine. Farmers are also encouraged to create networks to market their products to local businesses and to connect with hotels and restaurants too, so that they can promote their products to the local tourism industry and also offer tours and excursions.

A regenerative agriculture awareness campaign has reached over 2,000 people and breathed new life into the cuisine of the local area. As well switching 130 farmers to regenerative farming, 60 chefs in the area have started to use local organic products in their restaurants. Excursions to the area teach holiday makers about the environmental impact of food production

This successful, holistic approach is increasing vital local income and stimulating the future prospects of a region of outstanding beauty and unique European cultural heritage.

Regeneration and sustainability are now truly at the heart of improving rural livelihoods in Andalusia.

PROJECT PARTNER

AlVelAl connects farmers and businessmen from local communities with researchers from academic institutions to help restore the Andalusian landscape. It also creates business opportunities that add value to local products and generate sustainable employment. AlVelAl is committed to positive change and the cohesion of territories with common historical and cultural roots including the Altiplano de Granada, Los Vélez, the Alto Almanzora Noroeste de Murcia and Guadix areas of Andalucia.

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