Combining experience on the ground with a European vision.

Combining experience on the ground with a European vision.

Grupo Alba is a mixed social-economy company (Sociedad Limitada Laboral), founded in 1999, which is based in the Spanish region of Extremadura – with an office in Brussels.
Our strength lies in our ability to combine our experience on the ground, both in territorial development and the food chain, with broader policy development and networking at an international level.
We are deeply involved in the ongoing transformation of the food chain by providing technical support, packing and marketing high quality fruit for over 1200 small local farmers. This and our direct support to many local development projects informs our wider networking and technical assistance for all forms territorial development and for the food chain – from European to local levels

What we do?

Building and managing networks

Grupo Alba has been centrally involved in all aspects of building and managing EU networks led by different EC directorates.

Examples:

  • ENRD Contact Point (DG Agri EC): Management of the ENRD Contact Point (as one of four partners of the RURANET EEIG) providing support for networking between stakeholders involved in the 117 Rural Development Programmes in 28 Member States.
  • FARNET I and II Support Units (DG Mare, EC): Management of the FARNET Support Unit (as one of two partners of the DEVNET EEIG) supporting a network of over 360 fisheries local action groups (FLAGs) and other stakeholders in 20 Member States,
  • URBACT (DG REGIO, EC): Technical assistance for the management of a “thematic pole” made up of around 100 European cities focusing on innovation and human capital development.
  • EQUAL Community Initiative and ESF Communities of Practice (DG EMPL, EC): Coordination of the thematic work on business creation involving over 300 EQUAL partnerships and 8 National Thematic Groups on inclusive entrepreneurship. The design, coordination and animation of the first “community of practice” launched by DG Employment (later to become learning networks).
  • Leader II Observatory (DG AGRI, EC): Our team members formed part of the consortium and were responsible for all work in the European Leader II Observatory on local business support systems and the food system, while playing a major role in work on innovation and trans-national cooperation.
  • LIFE programme (DG ENV-DG CLIMA, EC): Team members were involved in the monitoring and communications actions of the LIFE programme in the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programming periods.

ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS IN THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF TERRITORIAL PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS.

Our work involves designing territorial and sectoral development policies and programmes, building partnerships, direct support for implementation and evaluation. We help our clients identify priority objectives, assign resources and engage with stakeholders. By offering strategic analysis and using our experience in building consensus with multiple stakeholders, we support our clients to develop new solutions and to put them into practice

  • Policy guidance: Writing the official EU Guidance on Community-Led Local Development in European Structural and Investment Funds for Managing Authorities and Local Actors on behalf of DG Regio, Employment, Agri and Mare. Organisation and animation of seminars and focus groups with concerned stakeholders
  • Programming: Preparing and providing technical support for the EAFRD Rural Development Programme and the ERDF and ESF Operational Programmes for Extremadura 2014-2020.
  • Local Development Strategies: Building the partnerships and of many local development strategies in northern Extremadura: LEADER Local Development Strategies for the Jerte Valley, Ambroz, Monfragüe and Tierras de Granadilla.
  • Integrated Urban Projects: Designing the City of Plasencia’s Strategic Plan through a process of stakeholder engagement; development of the project, “ECOCIUDAD” (Eco-City) – an integrated investment plan to increase the city’s competitiveness while achieving a more balanced development.
  • Policy Analysis: Analysis of the Strategic Plans for Rural Development in 2007-2013 in 11 EU Member States and European scoping study to help the Spanish Government design a law for the Sustainable Development of Rural Areas
  • Foresight analysis: FARO project, a foresight analysis of rural scenarios for 2030. Case studies for Extremadura and Andalusia - an EC FP7 project with the Spanish Rural Development Network
  • Evaluation: Synthesis of the ex-ante evaluations of the 18 Rural Development programmes in Spain for the 2007-2013

PROMOTING INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENTOF THE FOOD CHAIN FOR THE BENEFIT OF SMALL FARMERS

Our hands-on experience of the latest developments in agricultural practices, post-harvest technologies and food marketing allows us to provide a range of practical services to small farmers and farming cooperatives.

  • EIP-Agri Operational Groups:. Designing, setting up and supporting the implementation of EIP-Agri Operational Groups for sectors such as cherries and chestnuts. Support for the formation of the partnerships and the work programme of innovative actions to build more competitive and sustainable farming systems which benefit small farmers.
  • Producer Organisations: Designing, managing, providing technical support and monitoring for various Operational Programmes for Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisation covering thousands of farmers
  • Training and capacity building: Targeted training and capacity building courses for farmers and the employees of cooperatives and food companies
  • Innovation brokerage, quality control, audit and technical support for farming cooperatives and SMEs in the food sector

Building bridges between the local and global