Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Project

Adding fish to local food baskets

In Abruzzo, southern Italy, Solidarity Purchasing Groups have teamed up with fishermen to start including fish in their local food baskets.


Solidarity Purchasing Groups (‘GAS’ in Italian) are groups of individuals or families that come together to make purchases that support a local, community-based economic model. This model respects the environment and workers' rights, as well as guaranteeing producers are paid a fair price. As such, producers and consumers work together towards the whole community’s wellbeing.

With the support of Costa Blu FLAG, fishermen and a number of GAS in Abruzzo are working together to introduce fish among the products sold in food baskets. On the one hand, the project helps GAS buy products fished in ethical and environmentally-friendly ways. On the other hand, it satisfies the fishermen’s need to sell all types of fish on the market at a fair price. In addition, profits from the sales fund cultural initiatives, which in turn contribute to diversifying the fishermen’s’ income. Examples of such initiatives include fish cleaning and filleting courses, exchanges of new and traditional recipes, and events on the rediscovery of ancient professions e.g. sewing fishing nets.

The project is still in its infancy. However, meetings with producers and field trips have already been organised to evaluate if a particular product and/or producer meets the groups’ ethical purchasing criteria. There are more meetings planned for 2019 to identify key issues such as logistics and food safety requirements.


A pilot project is planned for 2020. It is expected that at least two GAS (about 40 families), 10 fishermen and/or 1 producers' organisation will be involved (the producers' organisation brings together more than 30 boats).


Where Solidarity Purchasing Groups, or similar structures exist in coastal areas, fishermen can easily be included in the alternative supply chain. In order for the arrangement to work, both parties need to be willing to build a transparent and mutually beneficial partnership based on trust. 

Lessons & contribution to CLLD objectives: 
  • Lessons: According to the FLAG, the most important lesson learnt is that mutual understanding and knowledge is fundamental. Repeated meetings and visits are also crucial to developing the project properly.
  • Contribution to CLLD objective: Adding value along the fisheries supply chain.
  • Total project cost and fundingAt the moment, no FLAG budget has been spent on this project. The future costs envisaged are linked to the internet portal that will be used to cross demand and supply of fish, and a refrigerated van for transport. However, the FLAG has offered to make its website available to promote the sale and purchase of fish; and the GAS already have their own refrigerated van. Hence, the role of the FLAG in this case is mostly to reinforce the relationship between the two groups (GAS - fishermen) and potentially organise training activities carried out by fishermen. In other words, for now, the FLAG is taking on the role of ‘animator’ and does not represent the financing body.

Project information

Timeframe of implementation From Mar 2019 to Dec 2020
Sea Basins
Type of area

Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Ms. Donatella D''andrea
Publication date: 
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