A growing number of farming initiatives are being implemented in various EU Member States with a view to supporting disadvantaged people, either in terms of therapy or rehabilitation, social or labour market reintegration or for training and educational purposes.
Social farming initiatives vary in form depending on the country or organisation behind them. Nevertheless they have a common goal, which is to assist social re-integration of excluded and vulnerable people, thereby generating significant added value for society and the economy.
The purpose of this own-initiative opinion is to examine the potential social advantages (the public goods produced by the farming sector which will benefit society and the economy) and eventual constraints hampering its realisation. The opinion looks also into existing regulatory frameworks within which these initiatives take place.