Tzoumakers knowledge sharing visit: from Greece to Catalonia, Spain

Tzoumakers, led by their community organiser Alexandros Pantazis, were the winners of the INCREDIBLE Knowledge Contest on NWFP, with an innovation entitled Cooperatively design and manufacture tools for small-scale agricultural production.
On 28-29 March 2022, Mr Pantazis and other two members of the Tzoumakers community went from Greece to Catalonia to meet with INCREDIBLE’s partner Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) and three connected organisations: Parc De Les Olors,  Col·lectiu Eixarcolant, and  L’Era. Espai de Recursos Agroecològics.
This visit had an important networking component: the aim was to foster connections among forest institutes and grassroots initiatives on policies, practices and approaches. In particular, the meeting allowed participants to share knowledge on commons-based management of forest products and farmers’ tools. 
CTFC was able to connect the Tzoumakers community with other similar initiatives in Catalonia while Tzoumakers shared their approaches and concepts with CTFC. These included open-source tools for agriculture, the “design global, manufacture local” concept, and the political economy of the commons, all contributing to planting a seed for CTFC’s future trajectory and adding to its innovative vision. 
The visit was timely, and a great success. In the Tzoumakers members’ own words:
“At Tzoumakers we are an open lab for communities to cooperatively design and manufacture tools for small-scale agricultural production. Our vision is to create such sites in both villages and cities where citizens may seize technology into their own hands. 
We created an open-source grinder for aromatic plants which won an award in the Incredible conference in April of 2021. Hence, this March, three members of the Tzoumakers community traveled to Catalonia and visited the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), and three more initiatives relevant to our activity. 
At the Park De Les Olors we saw their tools and infrastructures for producing aromatic plants and discussed about their business model of building a network of financially sustainable and independent farms that hold vibrant communication bridges among them. Moreover, we discussed some technical details that can improve our grinder for aromatic plants.

Meeting at the “Park De Les Olors” 
At the Col·lectiu Eixarcolant we talked about their multifaceted activities, from organising a seed bank and operating a local bakery shop, to reselling tools for small-scale farmers and organising festivals. We reflected on their effort in ensuring the financial viability of their core members through various resources and on their processes for managing their internal relations. 

Meeting at the offices of “Col·lectiu Eixarcolant”     
At the L’Era. Espai de Recursos Agroecològic, a state training facility for young farmers, we discussed about Tzoumakers vision on technological sovereignty and reflected on the possibility of adding a training on such issues in their curriculum as well as in the curriculum of its Greek counterpart organisation. 

Meeting at the premises of “L’Era. Espai de Recursos Agroecològics” 
Finally, at our host institution, the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), we presented Tzoumakers vision and practices, learned about their work and took a lot of useful advice regarding future actions and new collaborations. 

Meeting at the CTFC
This visit came at a point of time when we, the Tzoumakers community, are investigating our next steps in terms of our business model and of future collaborations, after three years of operation. Hence, we want to particularly thank the INCREDIBLE project and the CTFC institute for hosting us and enriching our knowledge and experiences!”.

Watch Alexandros describe Tzoumakers’ experience in the knowledge visit!

The frontrunners of the INCREDIBLE Knowledge Contest on NWFP were awarded Knowledge exchange visit rewards for top three INCREDIBLE NWFP innovations.
Read more on their experiences:
Valorization of Mediterranean forest tree nuts in the food industry: from Tunisia to Madrid, Spain
Pinus pinaster stands with protective and protection value: from Spain to Sardinia, Italy