VIVA AND EQUALITAS CERTIFICATIONS FOR DUCA DI SALAPARUTA: BUSINESS-BOOSTING QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

Duca di Salaparuta recently obtained two major sustainability certifications: in March 2021 the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition awarded the company the “Viva” Label for Sustainability in Viticulture in Italy; in May, Duca di Salaparuta earned the Equalitas Standard SOPD certificate of “Sustainable Organization – OS” (first privately owned Sicilian company to do so), the primary objective of which is to promote sustainability in the agrifood and wine sectors.

 We had the occasion to interview Claudia Piccinini, Head of Food Quality and Safety Assurance at Duca di Salaparuta. She’s the person who supervised the procedures necessary for obtaining the certifications.

Claudia, thanks for this interview. First of all: what are the parameters the company monitors to obtain two such certifications, Viva and Equalitas?

 While certifications important with respect to company sustainability, they involve a variety of parameters. “Viva” is a certification which the Ministry of Ecological Transition assigns on the basis of the company’s impact on certain elements: AIR (here they evaluate the CO2 emissions generated by production activities); WATER (in this case, the company’s use of water resources); TERRITORY (Duca di Salaparuta’s physical and social impact on the territories surrounding the two company sites). 

By contrast, Equalitas, a private institution, takes into consideration the diverse aspects of the company management system, from the economic one to the environmental/social one. What get scrutinzied are the procedures the company follows to organize the various sectors and to overcome possible critical areas: examiners analyze the interaction with a number of stakeholders, from employees to suppliers, along the way involving even the people who live in the territory.

What type of journey led to acquiring the necessary requisites for these certifications?

We can say that the certifications obtained are choral ones, because to get the analytical data and all the information, they required the close collaboration of all sectors of the company through numerous questionnaires and the high participation of the entire workforce and not only. Surely, it was a very stimulating process, lasting about six months, which enabled us to attain a major result: all three of the Duca di Salaparuta winemaking facilities obtained the certifications and we are the very first privately-owned Sicilian company to get the Equalitas certificate!

What aspect of the company struck the auditors most during the inspection process?

The auditors were very impressed by the extremely low company turnover: employees stay with the company for up to 30/35 years, showing that Duca di Salaparuta has all that it takes to enjoy a high degree of professional satisfaction.

What motivated Duca di Salaparuta to reach these objectives?

Respect for the environment, promotion of employee safety, safeguarding of investors and other stakeholders, adoption of sustainable production models, growth and enhancement of individuals together with the need to ensure their well-being without jeopardizing that of future generations: all of the above have always been fundamental for the company. With these certifications we have succeeded in giving distinct visibility to these aspects of our company.

What are your future goals?

The certifications are certainly two key milestones which represent a turning point for Duca di Salaparuta business activities. They confirm, on the one hand, a virtuous modus operandi able to bring out the best of various facets of company organization and relative ties to the territory and to the workforce; on the other, our intent to preserve these company practices over time and to implement further organizational aspects. So, even more than an end point, they are a starting point. The certifications get renewed periodically: company objectives must grow in tandem, to be coherent with the requisite qualitative standards!

Thanks Claudia, compliments to all of you for your work and the best of luck to you in achieving your next objectives!

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