The first Swedish SUPER-G co-innovation workshop of the FOLs (West Uppland) took place on the 18th June 2019 at Huddunge församlingshem, Uppland, Sweden. The workshop was attended by 5 farmers.
The farmers were gathered using The VFA (Volunteer & Farmer Alliance Sweden) network to reach out to farmers in the region for a discussion workshop (note VFA is the English translation of FOLs. Fågelskådare och Lantbrukare I Samarbete).
The main objectives of the meeting were to:
- Introduce the SUPER-G project
- Discuss local conditions for permanent grassland (PG) utilization/farming, and ecosystem service (ES) delivery connected to PG
- Discuss potential innovations for PG management and how these might deliver ES
The discussion was structured around the following questions:
- List below what your permanent grassland (PG) should deliver now and in the future?
- Which Ecosystem Service (ES) is the most important for farmers in Svealand (southern mid-Sweden)?
- What are the issues farmers face when trying to deliver the ES?
- Referring to each of the ES, how could you deliver these in the future?
- What management options or innovations would help farmers deliver each of the ES?
- For the management options or innovations that you gave in question 5, which ones are the most important or would be most beneficial to your farm business?
The answers to the questions can be found below:
- Products and goods; biodiversity and open landscapes
- The production of feed and resulting products linked to the farm economy
- Rules, regulations, and fear of being made to pay back subsidies; being considered “villains”, especially with cattle farmers
- Directly through payments for the management of ES, or through products having a higher value at the consumer level
- Free personal support by advisors; Increase the value of meat production on poor soils that cannot be used for cereal/arable production but have the potential to deliver a large variety of ES
- Remote technologies (drones/satellite data); grass production-based innovations (seed mixes, over-seeding, aerators; communication and information about PG to the general public (including school education)