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Allegrini 2018
THE HISTORY

Social sustainability according to Caprai, where migrants in the vineyards are building the future

The project started in 2016 together with Caritas of Foligno. Marco Caprai, told WineNews: “it’s time to dispel negative beliefs about immigration”

The sustainability of a company is not substantiated or determined only due to its environmental and economic aspects, because a company, more so if it is agricultural, and even more so if it is a wine company, is an integral and active part of the territory, and the main player is its social sustainability. Being aware of this concept is what pushed Marco Caprai, at the helm of the brand that "created" the Sagrantino di Montefalco district, to raise the bar of his commitment in this respect. Consequently, from words to facts, in 2016, the Umbrian company began to collaborate with the Caritas organization of Foligno and other local associations to integrate migrants into the working world. Their commitment has, over the last three years, given more than 30 asylum seekers from North and Central Africa the opportunity to work in the vineyards at different times of the year, creating synergy and giving a positive signal to the entire territory. Furthermore, and especially from a cultural point of view, they are undermining, one by one, prejudices against young people who are fleeing poor countries in search of an opportunity.
“The framework”, Marco Caprai told WineNews, “is sustainability, not only for the environment, but for one of the most important areas - social - which is the objective of this project. Since we have started along this path, Caritas has pointed out to us the young people available to work in our vineyards, thus bringing together two needs, because since the citizens’ income (guaranteed minimum income) was introduced in Italy, it has become very difficult to find workers. Agricultural activity is typically seasonal, linked to climatic trends and the various stages of processing, and it is difficult to offer permanent contracts. Additionally, the countryside is not the first choice for most young people, and Covid-19 has made the situation worse”, said Marco Caprai, outlining the situation from a working as well as a practical point of view.
“We have grown in size, in the last few years, and we obviously need more manpower, but our company will only rely on transparent and fair contractual practices, avoiding, for example, cooperatives we do not know. Welfare is an important and serious issue for a company that wants to be truly sustainable”, Marco Caprai resumed, who then retraced the stages young people experience. “(They) arrive in Italy in the infamous boats, and then are redistributed to the various centers around the country. The innovative part of our project is the ability to systematize the activities of voluntary associations, such as Caritas of Foligno, together with our company. In the future, the third sector will be more and more important”.
The most important effect of this project (a case history that draws a line and is an example of those “fair” practices that every week, the Tuesday insert “Buone Notizie” [good news] of Corriere della Sera, one of the main newspapers on the Italian journalistic panorama, recounts, and whose cover story tomorrow will be about Marco Caprai’s project, ed.), as we mentioned above, is to destroy, using practical examples, prejudices on complex phenomena such as immigration and integration. “They are young people who don’t mind sacrifices. They arrive at 6 in the morning, many of them by bicycle, riding 6-7 kilometers, some on a moped, and when economic conditions permit it, by car. They are an important resource, and often the finest people in the countries are the ones that are fleeing. Many of them”, Marco Caprai continued, “have studied, and it is great to see that here they have found an opportunity, a place to put down roots. These are the stories that dispel the myth of immigration as only a problem. It is not like that at all, no one comes from Central Africa to steal jobs from Italians or to commit crimes”. On the contrary, it is enough to be able to work and build a new life. “The challenge”, concluded Caprai, “ is about transparency, which creates added value for companies and territories”.

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