The Universidad Politécnica de Valencia hosted the annual SALSA meeting between the 22nd and the 26th of January 2018 to assess the initial outcomes from the work developed by the various European and African partners in the first twenty months of the project. The week provided a platform for more than 45 scientists, researchers and professionals who work on small-scale food production and food systems to discuss the progress of the fieldwork and the achievements in the ten ‘pioneer regions’.
The first half of the meeting was dedicated to a training in participatory foresight analysis, which will be carried out in 2018. This training aimed at providing partners with a common scenario framework and the analytical tools required to foresee the potential contribution of small farms and small food business to food and nutritional security (FNS) in 2030 and 2050.
The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to discussing refinements to SALSA’s Conceptual Framework and planning the empirical work in the other 20 regions. Topics discussed included the processes of transdisciplinary theory building, the assessment of small farms’ production potential, the on-going in-depth assessment of food systems, and initial discussions on the upcoming work on the governance of food systems, the conditions that enable small farms and small food businesses and the policy tools that provide these conditions. In a concluding round-table discussion, concrete possibilities for improving dissemination of the project’s findings were identified. These will include a set of scientific publications and a number of policy briefs and articles for decision-makers.
While in Valencia, the participants also benefitted from the chance to visit Castellón, one of the study areas in Spain.The fieldtrip highlighted the beautiful landscape of this coastal region characterised by citrus, nut and olive trees, and also gave participants the chance to visit two cooperatives that serve small food producers in the region.