SocialFARMS - Activities for Rural Management Services. A project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
INTRODUCTION

The city council did not have any personnel for the maintenance of green areas, to cover this need, a group was created to start taking care of these functions through this EWC. Today they employ 16 people, 14 of them with disabilities, who are responsible as public employees for the maintenance of all the green areas of Baeza, a Renaissance city considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. As a Special Employment Centre, it carries out activities at levels of efficiency and quality comparable to any company competing in the market, without losing the social component and the integration of people with disabilities.

  • Name and Surname: José Moreno Martinez.
  • Birth Year: 1964.
  • Gender: Male.
  • Education: Technical Agricultural Engineer.
  • Address/map: Camino de Atalayón, s/n, 23440 Baeza (Jaén).
  • Farm Area (in ha): 7.5 ha of green areas in the city centre and its districts.
  • Date of establishment of the social farm: April 2000.
  • No of workers: 16 workers. 14 workers with disabilities and 2 without disabilities.

Website and social networks accounts:
https://www.baeza.net/servicios_municipales/medio-ambiente-cee

Farm general description

The EWC is organised as a local autonomous body of the Baeza Town Council, dependent on the Department of the Environment, but with functional independence. It maintains its own facilities where we find the greenhouse and offices, as well as the storage areas for equipment and machinery.

Services

The EWC tries to provide employment and integration opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. The EWC has three main activities, on the one hand the maintenance of green areas of Baeza and its districts. The production of plants to supply the maintenance of gardens and parks. And finally, the environmental awareness in the municipality through workshops and dissemination sessions in schools.

Activities

Each worker has different skills and therefore each task (multiplication, grassing, fertilisation, irrigation installation, pruning of bushes and trees, etc.) is assigned and adapted according to the skills and competences of each worker. They try to guarantee a professional and responsible level of performance. In any case over the years most of them are independent and can cover a wide range of tasks.

Products

The greenhouse was the origin of the project through the plant productipon courses, with which everything started, today it provides plants for the renovation of the green areas. The greenhouse maintains seedbeds, shade houses and other propagation work areas.

Social Farm Manager Role

As the person in charge, he carries out administrative functions, document management, work planning, etc. Although he carries out technical tasks, he is also in charge of adapting protocols or resolving potential conflicts in the work environment. He is the person who makes decisions and serves as a link between the EWC and the outside world.

Social Farm Tutor Role

The tutors are present in the work areas helping the development of tasks and supervises the team. This tutor accompanies, instructs and motivates, as well as being attentive to the personal and professional needs of the workers in their day-to-day work.

Relationships with Social/Health Services

The City Council has social services that try to cover the specific needs that may arise among the workers, providing guidance and personal support that each worker may need. They complement the functions carried out on a day-to-day basis by the manager and the tutor. Over the years and with the stability of the staff, this service has been less required due to the high level of integration achieved.

Relationships with families

Relations are not regular and tend to focus on cases where a specific need or conflict arises, in which case staff from the council’s counselling and social affairs services are involved.

Relationships with Social Agriculture Networks

Especially at the beginning, they did maintain a relationship with the EWC in Jaén to see its functioning and structure. After the initial support, they have followed their own path, but they are open to have a continuous exchange of information.

Vision

To generate employability opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities, which will facilitate their integration and experience for their personal and economic development and independence. It is not intended to be a springboard to the ordinary market, but to maintain a workforce that provides garden maintenance services to Baeza Town Council.

Development plan

Currently they maintain a balance in their structure and workload, although they do not plan to make substantial changes to their model, they do maintain a vocation to improve work procedures and invest in infrastructures.

Suggestions for managing a social farm

It is important to have a level of awareness of the collective and a social orientation from the municipality to successfully carry out a social initiative of this type. It is advisable to take into account individual needs, adapting tasks to the abilities and performance of each worker.