As with all new projects, the first year is a particularly busy time. This is particularly true of Multi actor projects like SafeHabitus where the development of the team and a common understanding of the approaches we can take to develop good practices that improve working conditions in agriculture is critical. This was the focus of much of the work undertaken by partners in 2023.
It started with the Kick-off meeting in January which was held in Dublin over two days and continued through a series of online seminars, training sessions and meetings in preparation for the first SafeHabitus Summer School which was held in Ireland in early September to coincide with the National Ploughing Championship; one of the largest annual gatherings of farmers and associated industry bodies/organisations, in Europe. The focus of the School was on getting a better understanding of the social innovation process (WP2) and how it can be applied to identify and understand the needs of end-users.
The end of the year saw the 11 partners responsible for a Community of Safe Farm Practice apply this knowledge by inviting farmers, their representatives, farm advisors and policy stakeholders to come together as a ‘Community’ and meet for the first time. The end of the year also saw the first SafeHabitus Webinar, led by Oxfam Intermón (WP5), attracting an audience of over 70 people. The webinar brought together project partners and researchers focused on issues concerning migrant workers in agriculture.
Looking ahead to 2024, January and April will be busy months for the SafeHabitus Consortium. The Policy and Governance (WP6) team, with support from the Quality of Life team (WP4), held a very successful first SafeHabitus European Policy Seminar which was held in the European Parliament on January 25th. This seminar focused on Mental Health in Agriculture seminar.
Steps were also taken to organise the 2nd SafeHabitus European Policy Seminar for April 2024 which will focus on exploring ways of improving working conditions for migrant workers in agriculture. The final event policy planned for April 2024 is a knowledge exchange workshop focused on identifying ways of improving the data available to policy makers, stakeholders and researchers to enhance understanding of occupational health and safety challenges faced by farmers/workers.
Given that many SafeHabitus partners will be in Brussels for these events we will be taking the opportunity to hold our AGM to reflect on the work undertaken in 2023 and plan ahead for the rest of 2024.
David Meredith, Principal Investigator/Project Leader