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Deliverable 1.2. Report: Analytical framework and criteria for the identification of small farms and for their differentiation - Synthesis and short note on main implications for SALSA

 
Synthesis
 
Deliverable D1.2 is the Analytical Framework (AF) for the SALSA project. As indicated by its full title, it provides the "Analytical Framework and criteria for the identification of small farms and for their differentiation". The conceptual bases of the document derive from the initial Conceptual Framework (D1.1), which is detailed and operationalised in the AF in order to guide the field research to be carried out within WP3.
 
The AF indicates a three-phases methodology, based the following activities (to be seen as logical, rather than chronological, steps).
 
1. Analysis of the regional food system of the Reference Region (RR, NUTS 3 level), which aims at assessing the degree of (potential) self-sufficiency of a region through a combination of desk analysis and exploratory interviews, detailed in a series of sub-steps as described in the document. 
More specifically, expected outcomes of this step are: 
 A "food balance sheet" for production and consumption in the RR, with an estimation of surpluses and deficits for a set of major commodities;
 The selection of a set of agricultural primary products on which the subsequent analyses will be conducted;
 A first picture of the regional food system with identification of key actors, activities and flows, including both consumption and production sides;
 A proposal for small farms typology, adapted to the RR.
 
2. Analysis of contribution of small farmers (SFs) and small food business (SFBs) to Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security (SFNS) in each Reference Region. The analysis must be carried out through surveys and interviews aimed at gaining a more detailed understanding of how SFs and SFBs operate (both as producers and as households) and at integrating the information obtained through desk analysis for the definition of the food balance sheet and the food system map (step 1). Interviews must be carried out with key informants and with representatives of SF and SFB. A preliminary template for these interviews is given in the AF.  Expected outcomes of this step are: 
- The analysis of the distribution of SFs and SFBs in the region according to given typologies;
- A description of SFs pathways with case-studies on different SF types, and with specific attention given to their evolutionary trajectories;
- An assessment of SFs contribution to SFNS, considering also the possible outcomes on health and environment;
- An orientative assessment of SFs sustainability;
- The identification of needs and requirements of SF and SFB in relation to their strategies, evolution and challenges.
 
3. Exploration of consumption model-based food subsystems. This step, to be developed though desk analysis and 3-4 focus groups, is focused on the analysis and mapping of the food system and sub-systems identifiable within the selected RR. If deemed relevant in the region, focus groups will be carried out in different areas: for example, rural, semirural, urban. 
The aim is to explore consumption patterns, highlighting the role played by the various food system actors, in relation to a selected staple food item. This step brings to the definition of 3-4 specific food maps in which main food systems actors and flows related to specific food consumption patterns (for ex. domestic, proximity, agro-industrial) are identified in detail and displayed. The territorial level of the overall analysis remains at NUTS 3 (the RR), but analysis will be focused on the mentioned consumption patterns.
Expected outcomes of this step are: 
- the validation of the main consumption patterns in the RR drafted in step 1, and their qualification, with an assessment of their relative importance and relation among each other.
- three-four NUTS 3 subsystem maps each related to a food staple item, addressing specific consumption patterns. These maps will be accompanied by an explanatory narrative with the analysis of food system flows.
 
Beyond these three main methodological steps, the document describes some final activities that are planned to assess and validate the research outcomes. One or two additional focus groups will be organised on the whole food system in the region and the role of SFs and SFBs. Attention to gender aspects should inform the whole analysis and the focus groups; besides an additional specific focus group on gender issues can be organised of deemed useful. 
 
A final regional workshop concludes the activities to be carried out. The workshop aims to validate food systems mapping and production estimations, to analyse critical factors, limitations and potentials of the regional food system, and to discuss challenges, opportunities, visions and governance issues.
 
 
Short note on main implication of deliverable for SALSA project 
 
The Deliverable D1.2, "Analytical Framework and criteria for the identification of small farms and for their differentiation", is a key document for the whole SALSA project, as it gives detailed guidelines for the collection and analysis of information to be done in WP3 "In-depth assessment of food systems in 30 regions".
The AF is first meant to be a guide to help develop and implement the methodologies for data collection in each region. However, it provides also a framework to analyse and interpret the data once they have been collected.
WP3 is the work package in which all materials (documents, data, qualitative information) will be harvested and organised, to be then used in WP3 itself but also in the following WPs, in particular WP4, "Participatory foresight analysis", WP5 "Analysis of the governance of small farmer organizations and food chains" and WP6 "Enabling conditions for small farms and small food businesses". This is the reason for which the pertinent WP leaders participated in the construction process of the Analytical Framework, indicating their informational needs. These needs have been considered in the definition of the WP3 research objectives.