Study Visit in Andalusia – 16-17th September 2013

In mid-September the MESSE delegation travelled to Andalusia in order to gather experiences from the real life practice of 6 good practices. The first day began with the pickup of the MESSE partners and its displacement by bus from Seville city to Osuna city, in the province of Seville on the first day. In Osuna is situated the Andalusian School of Social Economy. In this place, the Steering Committee Meeting of the MESSE Project as well as the first working day of the Study Visit in Andalusia was developed.

3rd Social Economy Agreement
The Good Practice was presented by Mr. José de Casas, General Coordinator of CEPES Andalusia and Mrs. Patricia Aragón, Head of the Service of Public Investments of the General Direction of Social Economy (Regional Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment. The Social Economy Agreements in Andalusia are a demonstration of social dialogue and capacity of organization of the Andalusian social structures. They have provided a higher visibility of the social economy and a better attention to the promotional policies, and they are also the reference framework of the social economy in the Andalusia region.

Andalusian School of Social Economy
Mrs. Rosario Rodríguez, Coordinator of the Andalusian School of Social Economy introduced the main aspects of the good practice. In the year 2002, the Confederation of Entities of Social Economy in Andalusia (CEPES-A), and the Andalusian Federation of Cooperatives of Associated Work (FAECTA) signed the constitution of the Andalusian School of Social Economy Foundation as an institution that would invigorate the training, research and development areas, previously boosted by these entities in the Andalusian Social Economy scope. Its fundamental action areas are: research, training, entrepreneurial development, innovation, iternationalisation.

Aquasport presented its experience as a cooperative that manages the sport facilities in the city of Gerena, in the province of Seville. The speaker, Mr. Marín, started his exposition making some reflexions from his own professional experience as an aeronautical engineer: job insecurity and unemployment in its environment, what inspired him to design an exploitation proposal of the sport facilities of Gerena municipality, which were nearly abandoned. At that moment a public tender was published and he won the trust of the City Council.

Alliance between Supla and Suara
Suplá was born in March in the year 2000, as an initiative of the Educational Association "Encuentro en la Calle" ("Meeting at the street"), through the European project SURGE. Among its objectives, the following ones can be highlighted: local development, equal opportunities, social cohesion and the generation of employment.
The catalan cooperative Suara is the biggest in Catalonia in the sector of people care and it is present in 16 catalan districts. Suara offers residential equipments daytime and night, orientation services, preventive and supporting services, home support services, etc.
The alliance was signed in September 2012 to share processes, join experiences, opening for both enterprises new opportunities able to generate employment.

The overall second working day of the Study Visit in Andalusia was developed in Alozaina, in the province of Malaga.

Sierra de las Nieves
First of all, a brief explanation about the role of the CADE "Centro de Apoyo y Desarrollo de Emprendedores" - Centre for Support and Development of Entrepreneurs – of the Foundation "Andalucía Emprende" (Andalusia undertakes). The Foundation has been working in rural areas in the last decade promoting the entrepreneurship. It has helped to create 30 Small and Medium Enterprises, SME, and also gives support to other 270 SME of the zone.
It is a region rich in citrus crops, fruit and vegetable products, but the experience is focused more concretely in the exploitation of the mountain olive, which is complex because of the orography of the territory (production between 3 and 5 millions of kg of olives annually).
The fact that there was a high number of cooperatives cut the market into segments and weakened the position of the producers. To mend this situation, five of them decided to organise themselves under the umbrella of a cooperative of second level. Each of them is specialized in one concrete part of the production, while the cooperative of second level "Sierra de las Nieves" coordinates all of them with the following aims:

  • To achieve internationalisation and also certificates of quality.
  • To strengthen the ecologic character.
  • To take advantage of the biomass.
  • To optimize the transformation process.
  • Research&Development&Innovation.
  • To create an unique corporative image "Sierra de las Nieves. Grupo Aloreña".

MESSE Delegation visited on the spot in Alozaina the premises of "Purísima Santiago SCA" one of the cooperatives of first level of which cooperative of second level Sierra de las Nieves is made up. At that place, they could see first-hand the production, classification, and selection processes of the olives.

Arte de Mis Manos/Crowdfunding project
The Shelter "Arte de mis manos – AL- ANDALUS" ("Art from my hands"- Andalusia) was born by the initiative of a benefactor, Mr. Pepe Bravo, who opened a sewing workshop to create employment in a disadvantage zone.
"Arte de mis Manos" is an enterprise with social character whose main difference from others is based in the attempt to recover ancient crafts (copper, pottery and carpentry, etc.), in a world where the new technologies emerge with an overwhelming force, letting the traditional handicraft in oblivion. Another important aspect which makes them differ from others is the rehabilitation work carried out with the workers themselves, in order to achieve the socio-labour integration of people socially excluded. Nowadays the project has been enriched by the creation of a dehydration machine of fruits and vegetables financed through a crowdfunding campaign. The above mentioned awareness-raising campaign made possible that in 80 days 106 financial backers were involved with a contribution of 5.500 EUR through the web platform and more than 10.000 EUR in kind, getting also an enormous impact in the media. It brought a new activity in the shelter: opening of a restaurant to taste the dehydrated products.

Read more here.



The MESSE study visit video in Spain