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    In response to the increasing industrialization of dairy farming in France, Fabrice is developing an entrepreneurial-driven small-scale farming alternative that reinvents the role of farmers keeps them in the agricultural and economic landscape. Through new modes of production and distribution that respect the environment and offer healthy milk, he positions dairy producers as wellness partners and reconnects them with consumers.

    Guilhem Chéron is creating a viable alternative to France’s industrial agricultural production system by using peer-to-peer marketing to fundamentally transform the economics of artisanal, environmentally sustainable food production. By reducing overhead costs and inefficiencies, Guihem is more than doubling the income suppliers receive for their products, first for suppliers in France and ultimately, across Western Europe.

    In response to increasing agricultural industrialization throughout France, Jérôme Deconinck has created the first agricultural land trust to mobilize the French population to preserve their agricultural heritage, and to promote the development of a more unified small-scale organic farming culture. He is demonstrating that another form of rural development—one that preserves landscapes, ensures custody of the environment, and maintains economic and social activities—is possible.

    Since the 1980s, Jean-Guy Henckel has worked to help the most excluded out of long-term unemployment. His innovative model trains them to produce high-value, organic agricultural products and organizes them into local “Cocagne Gardens,” organizations that market their packaged products to conscientious consumers, who in turn commit to buying their products every week. Beginning locally, Jean-Guy has expanded his approach to over 100 locations across France.

    Nicolas Metro is redefining forest preservation as a human development issue, one that reaches far beyond environmental conservation. By positioning trees as central actors in creating economic opportunities and addressing social issues, Nicolas develops simple ways for companies and local communities to find common ground where entrepreneurial solutions are encouraged to flourish.

    Using a holistic approach, Salamatu is refocusing families to work as a unit changing the dynamics between men and women. She is positioning smallholder families to jointly engage in primary cultivation of agricultural products, diversify their production lines, improve nutrition as well as increase their income.

    Kenji Hayashi is rejuvenating rural areas suffering from depopulation. By creating a new pathway for emerging urban professionals to build their careers as change agents in rural municipalities, Kenji is creating a system that enables the sustainable development of struggling rural communities.

    Paula Daniels is working to transform our food system through the nationally networked implementation of a powerful idea: the food purchasing of large institutions, which can and should better reflect society’s values of economic equity, environmental sustainability, and public health.

    Sylvia Banda: Growing Local Food Systems & Training Female Farmers

    Storia

    When Ashoka Fellow Sylvia Banda grew tired of her office job, she called in sick and started cooking.