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Eta Beta Bio – Bologna (IT)

Case study of social innovations: urban food co-op with social inclusion.


Location: Bologna, Italy

Typology: Urban food co-operative

Urban area: Suburbs

Innovation type: Social innovation

Main functions: Food security – Social inclusion – Alternative food networks – Local development – Education and training

Users: Cooperative – Citizens


Eta Beta Bio is the section of Eta Beta Cooperative devoted to produce and distribute vegetables and fruits to the citizens and food co-ops of Bologna. According to the cooperative principles, social inclusion is the axis for job creation. Eta Beta Bio has 4 ha of local and seasonal food production produced following organic and environmentally-friendly agriculture practices.


Crops: 30 different crops (Salad, Chicory, Carrot, Eggplant, Tomato, Potato, Zucchini, Pumpkin, Cucumber, Melon, Watermelon, Onion, Escarole, Cabbage (multiple types), Kohlrabi, Leek, Fennel, Beetroot, Celery, Radicchio, Chard)

Techniques: Organic soil cultivation

Irrigation: Automatic irrigation – Well water

Use of renewable resources: Use of manure

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free production – Organic fertilization – Production km.0 – Seasonal production



Sanyé-Mengual, E., Specht, K., Grapsa, E., Orsini, F., & Gianquinto, G. (2019). How Can Innovation in Urban Agriculture Contribute to Sustainability? A Characterization and Evaluation Study from Five Western European Cities. Sustainability11(15), 4221.