Hungary, where the Pro Rataouille project was initiated in 2012, is one of the EU member states ridden by poverty. Statistics differ, but the following things can be taken for granted: around 10% of the Hungarian population is Roma, most of which is poor and living in segregated rural settings. Pro Ratatouille is focused on these areas, especially knowing that the potential of agriculture on the rural level is not used adequately and that active citizenship, a flagship of the European Union, is difficult to realize in these regions because it is difficult to find topics which directly concern and appeal to people.
Pro Ratatouille concept turns to economy in a new sense, where small scale economic activity, circular economy, organic development contributes to the overall well-being of the members of society, and so the well-being of the society as a whole.
The aim of the programme is to start and maintain sustainable, small scale agricultural projects in cooperation with the local government and the involvement of disadvantaged Roma and non-Roma members of the community. After meeting the needs of the producers and the villages, it is our aim to introduce a fair-trade brand with emphasis on quality, solidarity and sustainability. The development of the brand would enable the connection of producers through a social business inspired company that would produce its profits with environmental and social awareness.
Pro Ratatouille, a community based organic agricultural program for disadvantaged Roma and non-Roma people, aims thus to spread sustainable developmental models among small village communities. The main reason behind this goal is the fact that community based agriculture helps to develop community awareness, lowers unemployment, fights malnourishment and introduces a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Combined, these effects positively influence the worldview of the participants and show a livable alternative to younger generations. The program also helps to fight the prejudices towards the Roma minority by enabling Roma and non-Roma members of a community to work together towards a common goal.