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Inclusion, ethics and work, refugees in the vineyard, from Caprai in Montefalco, to Bordeaux

The Château Pédesclaux and Ovale Citoyen “Drop in the Fields” project. Marco Caprai said, “projects that combine agriculture and the third sector”

Groundbreaking stories frequently come from the world of advanced agriculture technology, and wine, in particular. These stories also narrate their capacity to look at the challenges in each era, and extracting the best put them together in a practical, virtuous, ethical and useful way for everyone. We recently wrote about the case history concerning the Arnaldo Caprai winery, under the guidance of Marco Caprai, at the helm of the brand that “created” the Sagrantino di Montefalco district, who began a pathway of collaboration with the charity organization, Caritas, and other associations to integrate migrants into the working world (their commitment, over the last three years, has given more than 30 asylum seekers from North and Central Africa the opportunity to work in vineyards in different periods of the year, signaling synergy to the entire territory, and beyond). Now, we have news from Bordeaux of a similar initiative that has been put in place by Château Pédesclaux, Grand Cru counting 50 hectares of vineyards in Pauillac, together with Ovale Citoyen, an association that uses rugby and other sports to promote team-building and inclusion, offering seasonal work to people in need, including refugees, in a project called “Drop in the Fields”.
“The employment potential in the vineyards is enormous. There is a shortage of manpower in viticulture, the same as in all the other sectors of agriculture, and this shortage has grown exponentially since the start of the Covid-19 crisis”, said Jean François Puech, founder of the association. “We were not very certain about our ability to bring people to work in the vineyards, which, as we know, do not wait for people to be there at the right time, but rather follow the cycles of the seasons”, said Vincent Bache-Grabielsen, technical director of Château Pédesclaux. This “case history”, as told by the United Nations Refugee Agency, is very much like Marco Caprai's project, and talks about several sides of the same coin, as Marco Caprai explained to WineNews.
“There is undoubtedly a labor problem in all Italian agriculture, considering the crisis linked to the Covid-19 emergency, closing the borders, as well as the introduction of a universal basic income and canceling vouchers for agricultural work. It is a fact. These projects, which do not exclude another alternative; that is, subcontracting (a phenomenon that has grown +18% in the last 3 years, bringing with it dynamics that are not always clear and creating not a few gray areas from a controlling and legislative point of view, such as the recent Confagricoltura survey highlighted, ed.), have instead a broader, more ethical and innovative scope. They connect the first sector, agriculture, and the third (that is, to simplify, the non-profit world), in a synergy that becomes virtuous, helps companies and helps many people in difficulty to rebuild their lives through work, contributing to the great and fundamental theme of inclusion. It also enriches society because these kinds of projects bring people from different populations, countries, traditions and cultures together to communicate in a positive and concrete way”.
Advanced agriculture technology, such as that of wine that once again, as has happened many times in history, has confirmed it is a driving force for social change. Or perhaps, it is even better to say, for the evolution of society.

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