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Collective Farming, Community and Connection

Collective Farming, Community and Connection

Cédric, Mathieu and Hervé of the collective farm (GAEC) La Ferme des 7 Chemins in Brittany. Image courtesy of La Ferme des 7 Chemins via Facebook

What does a socio-ecological transition mean for farmers? Farmers from the Nos Campagnes En Résilience project share their thoughts on social issues in farming, the role of farms in the community, and how Nos Campagnes En Résilience can help to build rural resilience in France.

In France, collective farms are quite common (known as a Groupement Agricole d’Exploitation en Commun, or GAEC). Social issues on the farm are central to farming in a collective set-up. But these farmers are also keen to look beyond the farm to build community and connection.

Cédric Briand is part of a collective dairy farm in Brittany with two other partners (pictured above). They manage a a herd of Bretonne Pie Noir, a local heritage breed of dairy cow. All of their milk is processed on-farm, where they produce artisan cheeses. 

Ludovic Boulerie is an artisan baker and farmer in a collective farm in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the West of France. Together with his two farming partners (pictured below) they produce cereals and aromatic herbs and bake bread in the on-farm bakery.

Gilles and Marie Avocat are retired sheep farmers and cheesemakers who were part of a collective farm in the French Alps. They have always been very involved in the community as advocates for local organic food.

Ludovic (on the right) with farming partners Cécile and Youry of the collective farm GAEC La Billardière. Image courtesy of GAEC La Billardière

Farming can build community through food

Ludovic puts it succinctly: The end goal of farming is to feed the population. So there’s a direct link between farmers and their local communities. Farming can build community through food.

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