Legality

 

For Legacoop “legality” is more than just something to aspire to. It is a conscious choice and a tangible reality. The association, in fact, supports cooperatives involved in the social reconversion of goods confiscated from the Mafia, as stipulated in law 109 issued in 1996.


To combat the abuse of power that criminal organisations use to impoverish both people and land, and to construct a fairer society with employment opportunities for honest citizens, law 109/96 stipulates that illicitly gained wealth and property should be assigned to bodies, including associations, social cooperatives and municipal, provincial and regional authorities, who can then restore them to the local community and add social and employment activities and services. This willingness to work together emerged immediately, the challenge was taken up and numerous young people were given the help they needed to begin taking back their homeland.


These cooperatives produce oil, wine, pasta, taralli, pulses, and jams under the Libera Terra quality and legality trademark. They exist in Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Lazio and they manage land and production facilities confiscated from Mafia organisations.


Today between 150 and 200 people work for the Libera Terra cooperatives, with an overall sales turnover of more than 5 million euro that offers crucial employment opportunities at a direct, local level. In addition to employment, these enterprises also offer a new perspective of legality, environmental friendliness and the rediscovery of traditions to both local inhabitants and young people from all over the world.
Every year, in fact, international volunteer workcamps are held in these areas for young men and women from all corners of the globe. Because the taste of legality knows no borders and should be savoured from as early an age as possible.


This is why, given the experience gained in promoting typical local products that are splendid but difficult to cultivate, projects focused on responsible tourism have also been launched. These involve promoting little-know places and dishes through a contemporary concept of tourism that helps visitors discover an area rather than simply exploiting it or them.
To broaden horizons in territories freed from the Mafia where it is not easy to nurture the  conviction amongst local people that life can improve both economically and socially.


In 2006 Cooperare con Libera Terra was established. This National agency for the promotion of cooperation and legality brings together a number of organisations from the cooperative, organic produce and quality agriculture sectors in order to sustain Libera Terra projects and activities. In short, it helps cooperatives to help cooperatives by putting the technical know-how and expertise of experienced members of the cooperative movement at the disposal of young cooperative members operating in the areas involved in the project.


In 2008, a consortium of Libera Terra cooperatives called Libera Terra Mediterraneo was established. The mission of this consortium is to integrate and promote new cooperatives in lands that have been confiscated but which have not yet been returned to the local community. A further goal is that of working together with local farmers who share the same idea of quality founded on product excellence and correct labour processes.

 

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Libera Terra