SMEs in the agrifood sector can promote sustainability by reducing emissions, providing affordable and high-quality food, and generating inclusive employment opportunities. However, these SMEs face challenges such as skills gaps, policy restrictions, and funding constraints. The GRAINS project, coordinated by Diesis Network, aims to address these challenges by providing several supporting activities on sustainable practices and strategies to reduce environmental footprints.

To support capacity building for SMEs in agrifood, as part of the activities, Two study visits are organised to meet relevant social economy SMEs in agrifood whose business models and community impacts could serve as valuable inspiration to others. The first study visit took place on July 3rd in Brussels, and a second one is scheduled in Rome, as it is foreseen in   March 2025.

During the first visit, we invited a selected group of participants to explore urban agriculture through a guided tour of the L[ag]UM rooftop garden at Refresh Brussels. Located in the Ixelles neighborhood, this 1500m² space, of which 1000m² is cultivable, features a diverse array of over 50 vegetable varieties, 25 aromatic plants, and edible flowers, all supporting a nearby restaurant and local residents.

The L[ag]UM project is a collaborative effort led by the Ixelles Urban Renewal and Neighborhood Contracts Office, in partnership with Refresh and ULB University. Supported by FEDER and the Brussels-Capital Region under the sustainable neighborhood contract Maelbeek, it highlights a strong commitment to community and environmental sustainability.

Stay tuned for more collaborative content with the L[ag]UM project – coming soon!

Interested in engaging with the GRAINS project? Check out the project website for all current and future opportunities.