This paper investigates and analyses social farming in the Aosta Valley, a tiny Italian mountain region in the Alps. It aims to highlight the features of social farming in this region, focusing on the social mission and economic sustainability.
The paper first presents the literature on social farming, focusing on marginal and remote areas, and illustrating the main characteristics of Italian social farms. Secondly, it focuses on the findings coming from a qualitative investigation of three case studies of Valdostan social farms based on data collected from semi-structured direct interviews. The analyses reveal that social farming in the Aosta Valley fulfils a crucial social mission in areas with poor accessibility to social services.
It is economically sustainable, basing its business model on the environmental and agricultural resources typical of high mountain regions.