How to associate agricultural and associative activity: stakes and obstacles around the

The second French hybrid forum took place on 25 October 2019 in Hauterives. The theme was developed as a follow-up to the first hybrid forum. The aim was to discuss how to associate agricultural and associative activities. Indeed, the implementation of actions towards an associative type of activity in the “Little market” area encounters very concrete obstacles:

  • Agricultural destination of the buildings (and difficulties inherent to another use),
  • Financial sustainability of the necessary investments in view of the scale of the operation.

The debate saw the participation of the same group that took part in the first forum (1 researcher and 7 participants). The invited expert was a psycho-sociologist specialising in group management and participation dynamics, who was also involved at local level on issues of citizen engagement in the democratic process. Following this initial phase, the participants shared a meal that included products from the ‘little market’ and other organic and local products. The second part of the forum, open to the public, brought together about twenty participants.

During these two phases, discussions were oriented around the following questions: Does the agricultural use of the buildings of the small market enable an associative activity on this place? What are the legal and normative constraints and are they sustainable on a small market scale? What forms could concrete actions take?

These discussions led it to the realisation that the legal and normative obstacles to a triple activity (agricultural, commercial and civic), although real, were surmountable. In particular, the examples of actions given by the expert convinced the incentive holders of the feasibility of the project.