RETA Operational Group

The Operational Groups are groups formed by entities with different profiles associated with the agricultural sector to find an innovative solution to a problem or to take advantage of a specific opportunity with a collaborative and multi-sectoral approach. It is thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) co-financing, that the Operational Groups receive financial support within the framework of the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

The RETA Operational Group was constituted to create, organise and promote a Network of Farm Incubators (Red de Espacios Test Agrarios-RETA) along with all the instruments necessary for its smooth operation to engage in public-private development strategies for the incorporation of new entrants into the agriculture, livestock and forestry sector.

This project covers the territories of Extremadura and Catalonia and is led by the Catalonian Association for Rural Initiatives (ARCA). Its beneficiaries include the XCN Nature Conservation Network, the Rurbans Association-School of Shepherds of Catalonia and Terra Alta region's Federation of Forest Protection Associations (ADFs) in Catalonia, and the Rural Development Network of Extremadura (REDEX), the University of Extremadura (UEX), the Association for the Comprehensive Development of Tajo-Salor-Almonte (TAGUS) and the Nuestra Señora del Prado Cooperative Society Limited (COOPRADO) in Extremadura.

The Operational Group also receives collaboration from entities such as the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Lleida City Council, the National Association of Ripollès Sheep Breeders (ANCRI), the Town Council of Arroyo de la Luz and RENETA—the French network of farm incubators.

The RETA Operational Group, as well as its Innovation Project, is coordinated by Neus Monllor, an agro-social consultant specialising in rural development and generational renewal.

The RETA Operational Group was founded in 2018 while the Innovation Project was implemented between January 2019 and September 2020. Its primary objectives can be summarised as follows:

  • Design an innovative methodology for the implementation of Farm Incubators.
  • Offer support and assistance to the new entrants to farming.
  • Implement the Farm Incubators as pilot projects.
  • Create, organise and promote a Network of Farm Incubators.
  • Disseminate social innovation in support of the new entrants to farming.