Title: Small farms, small food businesses and sustainable food security

Funding: EU "Horizon 2020" project, grant agreement no. 677363.

Total funding: EUR 4 958 172,50

Funding for BSC: EUR 339 500,00

Implementation period: 01.04.2016.-31.07.2020.

Coordinator: University of Evora (Portugal)

Latvian partner: Baltic Studies Centre

SALSA is an international research project funded under the "Horizon 2020" Research and Innovation action funding scheme. It was coordinated by the University of Evora (Portugal) with the participation of 16 partner organisations from 12 countries in Europe and Africa (Portugal, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya) and the UN system.
SALSA has aimed to provide a better understanding of the current and potential contribution of small farms and food businesses to sustainable Food and Nutrition Security. By considering a gradient of 30 reference regions in Europe and in Africa, it obtained a differentiated understanding of the role of small farms and small food businesses in very different food systems. The project illuminated the role of small farms in maintaining more diverse production systems, strengthening regional food systems and facilitating territorial development. The project identified enabling conditions that strengthen the role of small farms in food systems, developed a new small farms’ typology that reflects their diverse contributions to food and nutritional security, and developed policy recommendations for small farms’ support.
Using a transdisciplinary and participatory approach, SALSA combined the most recent satellite technologies, novel remote sensing data analysis protocols and methods, field assessments, social science inquiry and systemic approaches, participatory construction of knowledge, transdisciplinary theory building, and joint foresight analysis. SALSA initiated communities of practice operated at international and national or regional levels as a multi stakeholder learning and policy dialogue platform aimed to consult, advance, validate and disseminate SALSA research. The SALSA consortium also facilitated the EU-Africa dialogue and cooperation.
In Latvia, the contribution of small farms in food and nutrition security was analysed in-depth in Pieriga and Latgale regions. In Pieriga, the analysis was focused on the role of small farms in the regional milk, wheat, vegetables and apple food systems, and in Latgale – in milk, wheat, potatoes and honey food systems.
For more information and results see the project's website at
SALSA project Summary Booklet_2020 
SALSA Fact Sheet Collection: Findings from 30 reference regions in Europe and Africa 
Policy Brief: 
Policy Brief on Eastern Europe: 

Pieriga regional report

Latgale regional report


Academic publications on SALSA results with contribution by BSC researchers:

Hernández, P. A., Galli, F., Prosperi, P., Šūmane, S., Duckett, D., Almaas, H. E. (2021) Do small food businesses enable small farms to connect to regional food systems? Evidence from 9 European regions, Global Food Security, 29,

Toma, I., Redman, M., Czekaj, M., Tyran, E., Grivins, M., Sumane, S. (2021) Small-scale farming and food security – Policy perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe. Global Food Security, Volume 29, 100504. 

Šūmane, S., Ortiz Miranda, D., Pinto-Correia, T., Czekaj, M., Duckett, D., Galli, F., Grivins, M., Noble, C., Tisenkopfs, T., Toma, I., Tsiligiridis, T. (2021) Supporting the role of small farms in the European regional food systems: What role for the science-policy interface? Global Food Security 28: 100433.

Galli, F., Grando, S., Adamsone-Fiskovica, A., Bjørkhaug, H., Czekaj, M., Duckett, D. J., Almaas, H., Karanikolas, P., Moreno-Pérez, O. M., Ortiz-Miranda, D., Pinto-Correia, T., Prosperi, P., Redman, M., Rivera, M., Toma, R., Sánchez-Zamora, P., Šūmane, S., Żmija, K., Żmija, D., Brunori, G. 2020. How does small farms contribute to food and nutrition security? Linking European small farms, strategies and outcomes in territorial food systems. Global Food Security 26: 100427.

Arnalte-Mur, L., Ortiz-Miranda, D., Cerrada-Serra, P., Martinez-Gómez, V., Moreno-Pérez, O., Barbu, R., Bjorkhaug, H., Czekaj, M., Duckett, D., Galli, F., Goussios, G., Grivins, M., Hernández, P. A., Prosperi, P., Šūmane, S. 2020. The drivers of change for the contribution of small farms to regional food security in Europe. Global Food Security 26: 100395.

Rivera, M., Guarín, A., Pinto-Correia, T., Almaas, A., Arnalte Mur, L, Burns, V., Czekaj, M., Ellis, R., Galli, F., Grivins, M., Hernández, P., Karanikolas, P., Prosperi, P., Sánchez Zamora, P. 2020. Assessing the role of small farms in regional food systems in Europe: Evidence from a comparative study. Global Food Security 26: 100417.

Czekaj, M., Adamsone-Fiskovica, A., Tyran, E., Kilis, E. (2020). Small farms’ resilience strategies to face economic, social, and environmental disturbances in selected regions in Poland and Latvia. Global Food Security 26.

Tisenkopfs, T.Adamsone-Fiskovica, A.Kilis, E.Šūmane, S.Grivins, M., Pinto-Correira, T., Bjørkhaug, H. 2020. Territorial fitting of small farms in Europe. Global Food Security 26.

Żmija, K., Fortes, A., Tia, M. N., Šūmane, S., Ayambila, S. N., Żmija, D., Satoła, Ł., Sutherland, L-A. 2020. Small farming and generational renewal in the context of food security challenges. Global Food Security 26.

Guarín, A., Rivera, M., Pinto-Correia, T., Guimar, N., Šūmane, S., Moreno-Pérez, O. M. 2020. A new typology of small farms in Europe. Global Food Security 26.

Tisenkopfs, T., Šūmane, S., Grivins, M.Adamsone-Fiskovica, A., Kilis, E., Atkočiūnienė, V. 2019. Making Regional Food Systems More Sustainable. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Scientific Conference Rural Development 2019. Pp. 497-501. ISSN 2345-0916 (Online)

Guiomar, N., Godinho, S., Pinto-Correia, T., Almeida, M., Bartolini, F., Bezák, P., Biró, M., Bjørkhaug, H., Bojnec, Š., Brunori, G., Corazzin, M., Czekaj, M., Davidova, S., Kania, J., Kristensen, S., Marraccini, E., Molnár, Zs., Niedermayr, J., O'Rourke, E., Ortiz-Miranda, D., Redman, M., Sipiläinen, T., Sooväli-Sepping, H., Šūmane, S., Surová, D., Sutherland, L-A., Tcherkezova, E., Tisenkopfs, T., Tsiligiridis, T., Tudor, M. M., Wagner, K., Wästfelt, A. 2018. Typology and distribution of small farms in Europe: Towards a better picture. Land Use Policy 75: 784-798.