The first Ethical Purchasing Group (EPG) of Perugia city centre: an ever-evolving project
It all started within the Erasmus+SocialStartups project, which sees Tamat Ong (lead partner) with the Faculty of Social Business, Plymouth University (UK), the first university in the world to have received the Social Enterprise Mark for its contribution and commitment in the field of social entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, Parco Tecnologico 3-A, the Municipality of Verteniglio (Croatia) and Amsed NGO (France). The goal of the project is to develop, test and validate a learning methodology for adults l by using the model of the Ethical Purchasing Group (EPG) as real laboratory for the acquisition of key competences. The “members” of EPG in Via della Viola were inspired by the positive experience of EPGs in Umbria like quali GASpiterina and GASTezio, where km0 purchasing from producers to consumers means saving and good quality, along with the relational value, the social model closer to the hive, where a community of consumers and producers is created and animated through a food short supply chain.
The operational model of the local EPG, is based on a web platform where demand understood as consumer communities which mainly revolves around the city of Perugia, meets the offer of small local producers chosen by the “members” of the EPG, based on criteria related to small production and local economic development. You sign up online, you scroll through the list of available products (cheese and yogurt company Azienda Agr. Solana, the eggs of Luigi Emiliani, speciality bread from Giampaolo Orioli, fruits, and vegetables Silvia Dalla Croce – Orto di Gaia and e Lorenzo Calzuola) and order. Wednesday is pick-up and delivery designated day at Braccia Rubatea shared working space of Tamat Ong and Fiorivano le Viole in Via Cartolari, 4 – Perugia, which is transformed for the weekly appointment in a real “temporary market” in the heart of the historic center of Perugia. The “members” of the EPG meet weekly to widen the social network of the project meeting producers and manufacturers, introducing the project at local level. And from January more products are added to the list: craft beers, wine, flour and legumes. Sizes small to medium We are accustomed to thinking that economies of scale can have great advantages because they are able to offer products and services at affordable costs for the individual and for society. The agriculture as a complex activity agro-ecosystem in all its scales (crop, territory and business), can ‘be sustainable if it is oriented towards flexibility and multifunctionality both able through the development of small and medium size model of production to protect and safeguard biodiversity, decent work and relations. This approach is at the core of the guidelines that inspired the EPG in Via della Viola for a sustainable organization and management of all its activities for the present and the forseable future. A breeding ground for Innovation and Social Enterprise The Ethical Purchasing Group (EPG) for the town center of Perugia has in its own DNA a wider scope, that sees the combination of research of new ways to buy and sell directly giving producers and consumers the opportuity to meet and know each other, feeding on the one hand the trust needs of those who buy and on the other the need to know the needs of customers for those who produce, and the more ambitous aim to be an incubator of social business and social enterprise Some of the founding members of the EPG are testing social enterprise ideas re-launching the multifunctional role of agriculture, food waste reduction, circular economy, and a cultural re-tuning with the rurual environment and the agricolture sector
For more information please get in touch through the project web site