Casa Ametller

Hem tancat cercle, produïm x tu (We have closed the circle, we produce for you)

Monday 2 June 2014, by Aurélie, Marina Carral, Valeska

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A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Casa Ametller sense intermediaris is a company working in the agricultural production and distribution since 2001, promoting guiding ethical values such as proximity production, environmental commitment and fair and top-quality food selling. They started from the very beginning, being just a stand in the Vilafranca del Penedès market providing to its clients fresh products raised in the area and working as an alternative way of consuming, escaping from the massive and global production.
They define their core business as a concept of production based on vertically integrating all the production process in order to offer top-quality products eliminating additional costs that would not add any value to the final good. Their guiding philosophy is to collect their own-elaborated products creating a sustainable and alternative production chain: “We have closed the circle, we produce for you” (“Hem tancat cercle, produïm x tu”) while proposing other inspiring actions that contribute to an important and self-defining ethical commitment in society. Additionally, they have created a foundation called “Fundació Ametller | compartim valors” which constitute a working platform for the activities they promote with a new ethical perspective.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

Ametller sense intermediaris is addressing several ethical challenges like environmental respect, fair trade, work insertion for people with difficulties, proximity with the consumer, and education about nutritional issues in our society.
The current problem with farmers constitute the basis for the ethical commitment of Ametller: farmer they produce while being abused since the remuneration of their work is very low and sellers tend to appropriate big margins of profit. The main purpose of Ametller is to cultivate the products and sell them directly in its shops. In that way, there is no commission, and the farmers get what there really deserve for their work. Also, this initiative allows the consumers to have proximity products, with no transportation costs and much lower pollution. When I buy a product there I feel I help local production.
Also, because it is one of the biggest issues of the last decades, Ametller is trying to reduce CO2 emission during the production and logistic process . It actually got a certificate, to prove its effort for reducing the greenhouse gases. An initiative we can use as an example of Ametller’s concern about CO2 emission is this one .
Another environmental initiative Ametller is taking consists in donating excesses of production. The rationale behind is to face the issue of inefficient allocation of food. The “food wasting” is a big issue since there exists million of people starving to death in the world. Atmeller takes consciousness about this global problem and its ethical commitment also considers contributing to constructing a sustainable and fair way of consumption.
We think doing efforts to contribute to environment protection is good, but educating people to understand why this is important and be able to do the same might be even better. Because many people say they would like to do right things but they don’t know how to start, how to do it, Atmeller aims to provide an example to follow. This is why the enterprise created a Foundation where it provides education and global awareness to children about nutritional issues, while collaborating with La Cruz Roja, promoting sports and healthy life, and doing seminars about agriculture .

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

What inspired us the most about Casa Ametller sense Intermediaris is that it is a profitable company that worries about the environment and the community where they live. It has been recognized as an proactive company in ethical issues recently.
It uses some of the chemical products available in the market in their production, but in a sustainable way and only when it is really necessary, making its production more respectful with the environment while using the resources the science has provided.
About its contribution to the community, it is admirable how it uses the company and its foundation to help others in so many ways. They work in two main missions: healthy life and vulnerable groups. The first aims to promote healthy eating habits, benefits of balanced diets and beneficial lifestyle (participation in “SportSa” 2014); while the second actively works to address social problems.
We are specially touched by the social effort it does to work insertion of people with difficulties, like people with some handicap, or the last initiative to re-insert women who overcame cancer . After someone leaves her job for a long period (because of disease, pregnancy, or any other reason), it is hard to find a job again, since the person has been out of the market for a long time. Casa Ametller sense Intermediaris wants to address this problem helping people in this situation by providing new opportunities so that they can feel useful and find their place in society. Therefore, the enterprise has really got involved in the community and has tried to help using the resources they have.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

In our opinion, Casa Ametller sense Intermadiaris could not focus only on minimizing housegreen gases emission, but also looking at the type of pesticides it uses for its production, as well as the chemical components involved in the production process. Being ethical is not only about what someone shows to the public but it is also the hidden part of the iceberg, to think about consequences, alternatives, and being critical about our own actions. That is, for us it is important not only looking at the quantity of chemical products used in their core business but also at the quality of them as well as the implication they have. In other words, we’d like them to take into account environmental implication and contribution to the chemical industry which is nowadays related to some unclear ethical problems.
Another aspect we want to point out is that we have identified that in Ametller’s shop some products come from other countries such as France. Then we wonder until what extent is it really good for Catalan farmers to compete with foreign products. Therefore, if the company is to fight for proximity production, then we would encourage to really stick to this principle even if it has an impact on prices or variety of shop products. We believe the important aspect is to create awareness in the consumer to change some behaviors: it might be better to consume season and zone products even if the variety to choose ends up being fairly limited.
Something we think Ametller could look at are National Prices of Marketing (“Premios Nacionales de Marketing”), which are prices to reward ethical behavior of companies. It could be good for the company to participate and be possibly rewarded, to gain credit and social recognition .
Regarding future challenges, we think Casa Ametller should care about keeping their clients and continuing being profitable in a market full of cheaper products from different countries. Maybe they will also face the entry of new competitors, since nowadays more people are paying attention to how products they consume are produced.



Sector: Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Accommodation and food service activities

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