‘Terre di Loppiano’: 200 products, 1000 flavours

 
The challenge facing ‘Terre di Loppiano’, an Economy of Communion business based in Loppiano, is to give visibility and so create a market for the agricultural produce of several other businesses.

A website that does all the right things, with attractive graphics, but above all with integrity – a combination of three things that have made Terre di Loppiano’s fortune. It was set up to promote and to sell (www.terrediloppiano.com) the products of several agricultural businesses. Its 200 products of high quality, certified, from known sources, guaranteed and tested, come from different parts of the world. The entrepreneur Giorgio Balduzzi had the initial idea and started it up. We asked him for a few thoughts on the project.

Why use the name Terre di Loppiano?

‘The brand “Terre di Loppiano” (literally “Lands of Loppiano”) does not express so much a link with a particular territory as the value of the “land” which, if it is respected, can yield produce of the highest quality. “Loppiano” refers to our way of doing things grounded in the spirituality of unity which the little town of Loppiano expresses in its daily life.’

Do all the businesses that are part of Terre di Loppiano participate in the Economy of Communion (EoC)?

‘Of the 15 businesses that are part of it only a few are participate in the EoC. Others have been chosen because their professional and ethical values are similar to ours. But also these businesses have now asked to be part of the EoC.’

What added value has the relationship with these businesses given to your work?

‘The relationship with some of these business has given rise to the idea of promoting some of the social projects they are involved in. It is important to publicize these things and, especially, to bring them into a network, so that not only can they get beyond simply knowing one another but, above all, so as to ensure that each one serves the common good.’

Synergies, relationships, networks, team building: it all seems like part of a single mission that you have …

‘Yes. We have experienced that with mutual help and all the seeking the common good together, businesses can even find a way out of crisis. In 2010, for instance, Terre di Loppiano found itself involved with a honey producing firm that was at risk of closing down. Meeting us gave them new energy. We guaranteed the annual purchase of a quantity of honey and, thanks to our network, we were able to put it on the market, so the firm did not fail.’

Have you managed to spread outside Italy?

‘We have opened eight shops with our brand in Korea, thanks to a chance meeting with a Korean businessman who has taken on board the same challenge as we have. And now he is working to make this kind of economic activity known in Korea.’

Great commitment and responsibility are required then…

‘It’s true, things need to be done well, and if they are done also with love for the people round about us, who perhaps are in difficult situations, you can’t avoid good results. Our experiences are always similar. For instance, the people running a food shop selling some of our products once said that they understood the spirit behind this kind of business by looking at the relationship among us. Some of our suppliers have now asked to join in an educational programme for this new economic culture. We try to sow the seed and do our part, then if the sowing has been good, a harvest is inevitable.’

Edited by Paolo Balduzzi

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