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As you probably know, in the frame of the “Climate Champions” project, we are collecting good community practices related to biodiversity conservation and climate change in order to build a compendium that is going to be used as a tool to inspire others in order to implement similar initiatives in their territories. The compendium is going to be finalized and disseminated probably until the end of this year but before that, we thought that it would be a good idea to give you a glimpse of what it is going to be for!

In this context, we are going to introduce to you Biocofinaki. It is a good practice from Greece that we identified in the frame of the project. It is an initiative that aims at the inclusion of addicted people and the conservation of biodiversity.

The project BIOKOFINAKI has an ambiguous objective. On one hand, to provide the community with biological, healthy products free of chemicals and sustainably farmed, and on the other hand to offer to vulnerable groups of former addicts the chance to recover from their addiction both emotionally and physically, while earning a decent income and improving their financially precarious situation. The people who work in the biological farm are mainly former addicts (21 individuals) and the families of former addicts (8 individuals), thus the project has an added value since it helps these people reintegrate in the society. Biological vegetables and fruit are farmed in the 1-acre land within the territory of the Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki by former addicts who have now recovered, parents of former addicts and workers of the hospital. Other biological products such as honey, tomato sauce, dough and traditional sweets are also for sale. The products are sold online and delivered directly to the customers by truck. All vegetables are seasonal so they vary from summer to winter.

Stelios Giuseppas, the Head of the social inclusion enterprise ARGO that runs the project BIOKOFINAKI, has stated in the press:

“The project is based on the freshness of the products, in other words it is about quality over quantity. If a customer wants a kind of vegetable that is either out of season or hard to farm biologically, we simply say no. The main goal of the project is to help people overcome themselves and reinvent their dreams by being employed and by earning a steady income, that will discourage them from falling back into the trap of becoming addicted”.

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