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Anti-Mafia Gift Baskets: Social Good Stories {Copenhagen}

Issue 05

Growing up in Palermo, Sicily, home of the Cosa Nostra (Sicilian mafia), Riccardo Adragna the founder of Social Good Stories, was conscious about the importance of supporting socially and ethically responsible producers when he launched his online gift basket business in Copenhagen.  In the 1980s, Italy adopted a law to confiscate the property and assets of the mafia.  Local organizations such as Libera Terra, gathered over a 1 million signatures to sponsor a bill to redistribute the confiscated mafia assets to the community for social projects, and cooperatives.

Social Good Stories Basket Countlan Issue 05

Social Good Stories connects consumers to socially responsible food producers by arranging gift baskets packed with socially responsible items.  For example, the breakfast basket contains marmalades from Libera Terra, coffee from a small Ugandan cooperative, and honey from Bybi, a local organization that trains and employs homeless people to become apiarists.  The Christmas hamper has a wine from a Sicilian producer whose brother was killed by the mafia and extra virgin olive oil from a NGO where Arab and Israeli women work together.

Photo Source: Social Good Stories

INTERVIEW: Riccardo Adragna, Founder, Social Good Stories

01 Where is Social Good Stories available?
We only started the project last year. Until now we are operating in Denmark with a few sales in Sweden. The dream is to replicate the concept with web-shops in key EU countries and eventually go global :-)

02 What was the catalyst to start Social Good Stories?
I was born and bred in Palermo, Sicily where people enjoy 300 days of sunshine! I’m the proud dad of Joshua (7) and Marilou (4) and the lucky husband of Heidi- the reason I moved to Denmark in 2004. My background is in sales and marketing and I always wanted to use my time and talent for the “greater good”.  In 2011 I decided to quit my position at a danish IT security company and get SocialGoodstories started.

03 What is a favourite item that you carry?
It´s quite difficult to choose as all the products have such high quality and I hand picked them. However if I need to choose,  the Anti-Mafia D.O.P.  extra virgin olive oil from Libera Terra is a favourite. It comes from “Nocellara del Belice” olives, grown in Sicily on land “liberated” from the mafia. The olives are handpicked  and “cold pressed” a few hours after being harvested. This is how you get real quality in olive oil. I could sit an entire evening dipping good bread in this intense and spicy olive oil.

04 Do you entertain at home? 
We have an “open house” policy so we often have guests  for lunch or dinner at our place.  I´m  the official cook, and my wife is the official baker. She makes an amazing focaccia! Entertaining revolves around good, simple Italian food paired with good wine. We also have some traditions like an annual summer party and a gathering the last Thursday before Christmas vacations where we invite about 40 friends for playing tombola (the Italian version of bingo) and drink prosecco.

05 What is next for Social Good Stories?
The first step is to build an even stronger community by becoming a member based organization. Members will access to special prices and offers.  They will be “challenged” to become active by simply sharing stories or to volunteer a couple of hours a month. We will continue to find high quality products that make a social impact around the world, and eventually expand to other countries. I´m also intrigued by exploring the possibility of a Social Good Travel where consumers can live the stories by  visiting the producers.

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