Agricoltura Nuova Cooperative is an organic farm situated in Rome, right at the centre of Decima-Malafede Natural Reserve. The cooperative was founded in 1977, when a group of students, unemployed and a few farm workers occupied the land to prevent it from becoming a building site. Without their action of civic disobedience the Natural Reserve - over 6000 hectares - would have not seen light.
Agricoltura Nuova employs today about 40 people and grows a vast array of food products.
The over 300 hectares of public land yield organic cereals and vegetables but the cooperative also raise cattle, sheep and pigs and hens. Over the years, the farm workers developed the idea that the shorter the production chain, the better. Therefore, they started milling grain, baking bread, making dairy and cheese, potting honey and so on. They also have their own distribution in South-west Rome so to have complete control over the chain and be able to sell the product at a fair price.
Since 1977, the cooperative produce food fo the local market, provide farm workers with a steady job, treasure rural values and keep together a broad community while opening it to migrants and the disabled. The belief shared between farm workers and consumers is that organic is not just a method of production but a way to respect people and the environment. Above all, they believe is a way to convey energy in a method which is itself a catalysis for cultural and social change. They are slowly turning thier production into biodynamic.
Over the years, Agricoltura Nuova has been truthful to its civic engagement participating actively to the local political debate on resources, environment, waste management, welfare, market ...
Regarding land the cooperative has been very active in advocating for:
– policies enabling access to public land for young farmers and new entrants;
– a better management of public land - which, they believe, has to be sustainably used for the benefit of the community and whose productions should be integrated in public canteen procurement system;
– policies that recognize to the farmers their important role in society.
Agricoltura Nuova farm is important as it is a best practice showing how a social enteprise can fruitfully manage public land for the public benefit, in a tangible way, in the long term.
Read our case study on Cooperativa Agricoltura Nuova, 2012
About 350 hectares
Municipality of Rome
Cooperative partners and employees
– growing vegetables and cereals and processing;
– stockbreading and meat and milk processing;
– distribution and direct market;
– educational farm;
– green waste management
– social farming;
– land stewardship;