Articles

Why Le Galline Felici

Why  the name "Le Galline Felici" - literally happy chickens?
Almost ten years ago, next to Roberto Li Calzi field, one of the founder of the cooperative, there was an egg production plant. In the factory hens lived in small cages, trapped in the industrial production mechanism. One day the plant closed and put on sale the chickens for a low price. Roberto bought some of these chickens and set them loose in his fields.

The chickens were terrified! Trees, herbs, land to run free, they have never had it at all!

Finally, after a while, they started to get used to this new world. To eat grass and small worms, sleeping near the trees, to lay hidden behind the rocks.

Day by day the hens became happy.

When Roberto began working in the network of GAS, acronym for the italian expression "Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale" (Solidarity based purchasing Groups), he felt like one of those chickens. He came out of a trading system where agricultural products are commodities, farmers become suppliers and the trees, the means of production are valued only according to their price. He entered a world of people interested in his work, in oranges and also his life.

When the demands of GAS products became higher than the production of his fields, Roberto called trusted friends, who shared with him the practices of organic farming and together they founded the cooperative. When they had to chose a name, they decided to call themselves Le Galline Felici, happy hens, like hens now living in Roberto's field.

The producers of Le Galline Felici are all small producers, all applying organic farming production methods although some of them have decided to leave the official certification because it has become more a bureaucratic practice rather than a true control of the work done in the fields.

We produce according to the season, the climate and our capabilities. Often we have to make changes and adjust. We know it's a lot of work to do and in addition a lot of time is needed to share and distribute our products and we're sorry for the waiting time, but on the other hand it is the guarantee of the honesty of our work.

We do not do trade. We sell the product of our land and our work. The price is decided between the participants of the cooperative and in a continuous dialogue with friends and GAS.
 Prices are determined to ensure a good price for our customers but also remunerate fairly producers and workers.

We feel members of a national network, and (now) International. We participate in national meetings of the solidarity economy, we are the founders of the South-Italy network, we participate in international experiences as Nyeleni forum. We promote and foster the birth and growth of purchasing groups but also groups of producers, even if it is "competition" because we believe that competing means "run with" and not "run against"!!!