The Social Start Ups project experience
The interview with Giovanni Santi Laurini (an active membre of Ethical Purchasing Groups of Ngo Tamat) is part of the Social Start Ups project. The project is co-financed by Europe Union and it is involved in four different countries (Social Business of Plymouth University – UK, The municipality of Verteneglio (Croazia), Ngo Amsed (Francia) and Technological park 3-AParco: all coordinated by Ngo Tamat). Giovanni has partecipated during the educational process for Ethical Purchasing Groups, included in the platform for the acquisition of key-competences for the beginning of self-employment and for support of social entrepreneurship.
Why does a group of people participate to a project as Social Start Ups? Why do they invest time and energy for that project?
My point of view, as observer of Social Start Ups, is that I like to make available my knowledge and own abilities for projects that have social aims. In fact, the life quality has really improved since similar initiatives have been created. These experiences influence positively the community and help to develop similar and parallel acitivites.
What would you say to who wanted to belong to the Ethical Purchasing Groups and was worried for the costs that are involved by “eat healthy helping the local small producers” logic?
First of all, I want to say that this reality increased to 10-20% and it concerns only few products, wheter it really exits. Moreover, I would say, to pay more is part of the logic to support small producers, it’s the only way we can improve and diversify own products. So, in medium-term who uses GAS will have his advantages.
How do you think that initiatives like GAS can compete with the great distribution? Costs and benefits that go to supermarkets offer great advantages to the model that you challenge.
The idea that GAS logic is dangerous for GDO is a wrong: thinking in this way creates the wrong basis. The aims of GAS are to provide with a vast assortment of food and to create a strong community. Therefore this group of people believes in common values and is prepared to spend time to create a useful service and becomes an opportunity for relationships.
Do you think that GAS will also continue the next year or it is only a passing fad?
I believe that GAS with correct basis, relationships and a strong sharing philosophy, can last in the time. The commitment of each member of GAS and an exchange of views are necessary to continue.
Which are your future perspectives that derive from Social Start Ups project?
Sincerely, I have not actively participated in this project. Maybe, I had too many appointments or I didn’t have a clear vision of the project. I didn’t see a strong mover with the wish to risk (except for Tamat). Personally, I am willing to make available my knowledge for facilitate the birth of the project. However, it’s clear that my time is precious as everyone else and nowadays there isn’t the right energy for the project beginning. This is my feeling but it is a positive criticism. I am sure that I could discuss the project objectives with Tamat. Regarding future perspectives of the project, I can speak from a direct point of view as a resident and I would say that today the life quality is really improved thank to various activities. Each activity has its own aim but at the end all have the same focus. I’m proud and happy to see long processes born here years ago thank to efforts of every person (including my personal effort), yet facing difficulties. All that efforts repay me for the time spent, allow me to live in a better place and to recognize myself in this small community. For all of this, I would be happy to offer my contribution to your project.