Building Community Resilience through Communication & Technology
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“Nature has given us the earth, the sun and the wind. We have done nothing but support it " This is SiciliAromi’s company motto, a co-operative founded in 2011 by the initiative of a group of young people eager to dedicate themselves to growing natural and officinal herbs at an altitude of 900 metres (2,700 ft) above sea level, right in the centre of Mt Carcaci Natural Reserve and soon-to-be Sican Peaks Natural Park.
Social sustainability derives from having associated an almost exclusively family-run business with the cooperative model, in which 3 permanently employed members are assisted by 4-5 seasonal operators.
Environmental sustainability derives both from the location of crops, their altitude, the remoteness from sources of pollution and the organic approach to production applied to sage, oregano, rosemary and saffron, planted over an area of 3.5 hectares, surrounded by natural and new woods, such as the 25-hectare walnut grove with which SiciliAromi planted to shelter crops from bad weather, increase local biodiversity and preventively contain erosion and landslides. In the short course of the first decade of activity, the co-operative further diversified the area with pastures, 8 hectares of arable land and 7 hectares of new plantations.
TRADITION AND INNOVATION
In terms of cultivation, innovation lies in the recovery of traditional natural methods, such as cropo rotation, via system that combines pasture and forage and operates the weeding manually, for the sake of increasing biodiversity.
VALUES AND DISCIPLINARIES
At present, SiciliAromi does not abide by other regulations than those dictated by Natura and by the National organic certification body.
SCALABILITY AND RESILIENCE
The Co-pperative does not currently envisage scalability, but its president believes that the way to resist crises and to ensure operational continuity for a company lies in the combination of “experience and containment of expenses and investments”.