The critical consumption that unites people
Interview by Chiara Allegri to Social Start Ups project, coordinator and member of Ngo Tamat’s GAS in Bracciarubate Domenico Lizzi
Why does a group of people participate to a project as Social Start Ups? Why do they invest time and energy for that project?
Those who have participated in the project, have found very interesting how to build a social enterprise based on the GAS model. The group was able to acquire competences, necessary to develop their own enterprise through a practical process. I think, these are the motivations behind.
Different meanings can be given to the model “social enterprise”. For me, it is a model that can guarantee potentially great impact and sustainability to initiatives, same for the GAS. Our GAS/ Social Enterprise respects all of the GAS principles: direct purchase, support to small sellers, support to quality productivity, fair remuneration, guarantee of worker rights, ecc. Our idea of enterprise respects all these principles. Indeed, I would like to underline that our idea is to maintain unchanged the direct sale without any mark-up. We can do it thank to additional services, for example guided tours. I believe that the social enterprise model doesn’t threat the no-profit sector. In fact, a higher number of no-profit organizations has a profit logic. Everything depends on the real intent, yet from a legal form.
What would you say to those who may want to join an Ethical Purchasing Groups and was worried for the costs that are involved by “eat healthy helping the local small producers” logic?
What I would say is to try. At the beginning I thought that expenses could be higher but that was a wrong idea. I have learned to take foods that I didn’t know before. Now, I avoid to buy last minute food, the most expensive one. I spend more time in the kitchen to clean vegetables, for example, but all this is translated in savings later.
How do you think that initiatives as GAS can compete with the great distribution? Costs and benefits that go to supermarkets offer great advantages to the model that you challenge.
I don’t think that the target has “to compete” with GDO. Who belongs to GAS simply don’t belong to this system. However, I think it is not completely possible. Indeed, I have also retracted on the GAS benefits, like the price. Weekly I purchase a product and the day of the delivery I return home with vegetables, bread, fruits and much more that others have purchased. In my opinion GAS ha salso aims like form and increase awareness of particular topics. In this sense, they must have “more impact”, otherwise it would be only a “niche initiatives”. Actual needs are unreal and understand this is necessary: if we thinkg that it is possibile to live without Iphone, then it is possible to live without a tomato in December.
Do you think that GAS will also continue the next year or it is only a passing fad?
In general, the attention towards sustainable and quality productions seems increasing. I hope it isn’t just a passing fad and it is not exploited.
Which are your future perspectives that derive from Social Start Ups project?
In this moment, we manage a typical GAS in Bracciarubate, in the historic centre of Perugia. Our name is Fuori di Zucca and everything is born from the Social Start Ups project.
Social Start Ups project is co-financed by Europe Union and realized by Ngo Tamat in partnership with Futures (Social enterpreneurship centre of Plymouth Business School ,Technological Park 3-A, Verteneglio municipality; Ngo Amsed).
Chiara Allegri has a Social Psychology degree. She is a member of GAS in Bracciarubate and a temp in Tamat. The next months she will be committed with Associazione LIBRA.
Social Start Ups and Ngo Tamat for #lottomarzo