Examples of family owned companies that integrate family values in a sustainable business model are Mars, Auping, Bodegas Torres and Dutch beer brewer Bavaria, who recently won the 20th annual IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business award. Another example of a such a privately owned business, that recognizes sustainability as an instrument for long-term viability, is the Spanish organic goat cheese farm Santa Gadea.
Santa Gadea is located in the Burgos, a Northern province of Spain. Centuries ago, this area belonged to king Alfonso VI, and under his empire, the first steps towards ecological cheese production were initiated. The location is characterized by its land of rocky peaks and valleys covered by bushes. In 2015, the lands and home of the farm give name to the finest organic goat cheese that is produced 100% sustainably and organically. The Pérez-Andújar bought the farm in 2002 with the aim to produce the most organic and ecological goat cheese worldwide. Nowadays, with over 1200 goats, and no usage of genetically modified organisms or chemical fertilizers, the family produces organic milk of quality that far exceeds the FDA standards. But what is it that makes this farm so special compared to other ranches?
The livestock sector is under scrutiny with food scandals and the outbreak diseases like bird flu and the alarming news on antibiotic resistance caused by cattle. The public’s critical attention is drawn to the sector with concerns focusing on food safety, food integrity, and animal welfare. Meanwhile, a much lesser known fact is that greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production are estimated to account for over 14.5 percent of the global total output, exceeding the amount of emissions produced from powering all the world’s road vehicles, trains, ships and airplanes combined.
Santa Gadea is addressing these negative outputs by running a bio-sustainable farm, which is a comprehensive business since it covers many aspects from the management of agriculture and livestock to the preservation of forests. Alfonso Pérez-Andújar, CEO of Santa Gadea, runs the farm together with his wife and help of his daughter. Alfonso believes that nature is a key element in this business. “If you want to really respect nature, you have to work with it and not against it”. The farm differentiates itself from others by working on material issues that really matter and that will help to create long-term value, economically as well as socially. To fully optimize organic milk production, sustainability practices at Santa Gadea look as follows:
Next to all environmental aspects that are taken into account, Santa Gadea also returns industrial activity back to society in terms of employment and demographic growth. By running and leading the farm this way, the Pérez-Andújar family has a forward-thinking view that focuses on the continuity of its company, providing next generations of the family the foundation to run the farm successfully.
If you are interested in learning how to turn sustainability into a key driver for value creation at your company, please contact Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Partner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 6 28 02 18 80.
Image source: www.santa-gadea.com