Almendra Cremaschi, visiting researcher at King's College London

She will investigate the relationship between the open seed and fair trade movements, and what learnings they can share. She will work with Latin American and British movements.

Almendra Cremaschi, who is doing her doctorate at CENIT and leads the Bioleft open seed initiative directed by Anabel Marín and Patrick van Zwanenberg, obtained a visiting scholarship from Canning House and King’s College London. This scholarship will take place at the Maughan Library of King’s College London (KCL), United Kingdom, from September to December 2022.

The scholarship involves completing a research project based on the Library’s collections. Cremaschi’s project is titled “Fair Trade and Open Source in Agriculture: Learning Across Movements and Regions”. During her stay, she will conduct a literature review of these two movements, fair trade and open source seeds.

Cremaschi argues that open source seed movements have a lot to learn from fair trade; in particular the aspects related to the economic sustainability of the initiatives. “This research aims to delve into these links, knowing the differences and synergies between these two movements and deepening the understanding of the particularities that fair trade and open source seeds have in two different contexts: Latin America and the United Kingdom”, supports in her proposal. “Specific research questions include: what are the main differences and commonalities between open source seeds and fair trade movements? To what extent do open source seed initiatives use fair trade tools? What would be the implications of reinforcing the links between these movements? What are the main differences between Latin America and the United Kingdom?

Her research on these movements will be guided by a series of questions: How did they come about? How have they been applied so far? What values underlie both approaches? What kind of tensions exist? What kind of challenges have they faced? What strategies have they used to overcome them? What do these movements need to help improve the quality of life for farmers? As part of the experience, Cremaschi will give a conference at Canning House and will coordinate an online meeting that will bring together farmers from Argentina and the United Kingdom with the methodology of transformation laboratories (T-Labs). As a corollary to the visit, she will produce an academic paper to advance the conversation on fair trade and open source seeds, while disseminating his results to a wider audience through Bioleft’s dissemination channels.

Authorship: Marcela Basch. Originally published on CENIT’s webpage.