It was a very unique “group photo” taken during a public presentation of the social budget of the Tassano Group in the presence of some of the protagonists and authorities. Over time the Group was transformed from a cooperative into a consortium, and from a consortium into a group of consortia.
It is complex and made up of different parts, currently comprised of 33 cooperatives that offer diversified services to 4,700 direct users and 100 thousand indirect users in the northwest region of Italy, which arrives from a brief stretch away at the sea and Mediterranean farmland all the way to the snow-covered mountains of winter.
It involves 700 employees formed in the spirit of the economy of communion. “It’s an economic approach that the world doesn’t follow,” Luigino Bruni explained, “but it exists. Businesses who follow it try to destine profits in three directions: a part for creating jobs, a part for helping the poor, and a part for spreading this culture. The Tassano story is a love story made of employees and work that generated wealth and values.”
It’s a story that began a long time ago when, in 1989, two friends, small local businessmen, Gicaomo Linaro and Piero Cattani, together with 24 volunteer partners adherents to the Focolare Movement, started a cooperative to respond to the many cases of social poverty in the region.
The cooperative grew and gradually won the trust of several interlocutors, including public ones, which led to the acquisition of new services.
Two years later, the members of Tassano felt that their objectives were in perfect harmony with the Economy of Communion Project begun by Chiara Lubich in Brazil so that it spread solidarity at a global level. They joined the project at once.
Little by little, the diversified growth of the different activities and the consequent growth of new specialized cooperatives gave rise to a Consortium of businesses that remain independent administratively, but are united in the experience, all operating with the same spirit in the social, educational and assistance field, with services geared towards the weakest strands of the population, elderly who are alone, the disabled, mentally ill, unemployed, but also families, children and young people, as well as a view towards the maintenance and appreciation of the region.
In 1997, Tassano became a Group of Business Cooperatives, with the intent of unifying the difference business and social experiences that already existed, but also to act as an incubator of new production agencies. In the future, all the strategic areas will flow into consortia that will be able to consolidate growth and favour further development.
Maurizio Cantamessa, president of the Group, explains: “We’re quite a cohesive group, sharing the same values and understanding at the level of every day work. It was the right moment to group together, to consolidate and start again. The fact of being concentrated on the region is very important, because it favours relationships. We work side by side every day with local institutions every day. Being in the business of serving people, it’s important to be here in person.
Business and solidarity together. Even with all the changes, the mission of the Group has always stayed the same: to promote a concept of business dealing geared towards the integral and solidarity promotion of the human person and of society, while not neglecting a strong orientation towards the market, through the individuation of objectives and business development plans that can lead to the creation of new businesses and new jobs. In demonstration of the fact that the values and ideas of the cooperative can be translated into concrete work actions in favour of the region and its citizens.