Transcript of Expert Podcast
In our podcast, Mrs. Viktoria Lofner-Meir was interviewed by Johannes Dreer about her views, impressions and personal and professional experiences in on various topics related to Social Farming and our SoEngage Plus project.
Firstly, the concept of social agriculture and how this concept is perceived in Germany and what were initial ways of offering Social Farming without naming it.
Viktoria mentioned not only the great potential of Social Farming but at the same time bureaucratic limitations as well as challenging economic questions for the farmer and his family business.
The niche of Social Farming lacks of political recognition and therefor as well of political support.
Anyway, there are existing successful concepts implemented where a win-win-situation for all stakeholders is possible and achieved: the participants, the farmer, the social service provider, the regional sustainable development.
Viktoria mentioned a book titled “Social Famring – Soil beyond your feet”. The title describes very well the effects of getting in real touch with nature: soil, plants, animals and caring for them. This care delivers very good effects for the participants themselves. They get grounded, responsible, structured and more self-confident.
For farmers interested in the idea of Social Farming willing to implement a concept it is very important that whole family supports the implementation and that a real SWOT analysis is done as well as a business planning.
Even if there are a lot of good examples of Social Farming today in Germany compared to other countries like Ireland or Denmark Germany needs to catch up a bit.
From economic perspective and the perspective of an entrepreneur it is highly important to get in exchange about how to offer successful win-win Social Farming over generations.
The podcast concluded with an appreciation of the added value of various actors in Social Farming including Hof und Leben and our SoEngage Plus project and its objective of structuring a network united around the value of social agriculture.