About C-BIRD

C-BIRD aims to promote the better understanding of sustainable rural development across Europe by supporting the knowledge and practice as a pro-active collaborative response to the emerging economic, social and environmental challenges.

The project will study the various ways these three aspects are supported by cooperatives and their representative institutions, local action groups, producer organizations, private sector companies, social enterprises, NGOs, research entities, etc. The ways in which these diverse partners contribute to rural development are an essential part of the project: building of social capital, networking, innovative production systems, business synergies, use of natural resources, training, accumulation of capital, know-how, etc.

The research exchanges and the focus on specific areas and identified case studies therein, will:

  1. increase the understanding of the research subject (institutions, rural development and business environment) and the main drivers of the rural change, with emphasis on the complex and multivariate nature of the case studies included.

  2. explore economic and productive activities that enhance socio-economic-environmental sustainability and support best practices for vibrant rural areas - with special focus placed upon the agricultural sector (but not exclusively), auxiliary and complementary businesses, commercial enterprises, cooperatives, POs, social enterprises and their influence over rural areas economy;

  3. identify key characteristics of socio-economic-environmental development in rural areas and related institutional entities and functions, and to identify the main reasons for different patterns of organizational rate (cooperative movement/producer organisations) across included countries.

Coordinator: Trakia University, Bulgaria

Academic partners: EURICSE (Italy), Universitat de Almeria (Spain), University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork (Ireland)

Commercial partners: Agroconsult - Engineering EOOD (Bulgaria), Asociacion de Organizaciones de Productores de Frutas y Hortalizas de Almeria – COEXPHAL (Spain), Zip Centar za mlade biznis inkubator DOO Pirot (Serbia)