The origin of A! is located in Andania, in Messinia/Greece. The first product in the A! range comes from Andania: extra virgin olive oil from farmers in the region where our own olive groves are located. You can find out more about our own groves here.
So we have a very close connection to the region and to the people there. We know the processing plant very well and are very close to the product and the people behind it.
And that was exactly the vision for all other A! products.
A! comes from Berlin, but his heart beats in the Mediterranean. A! sells handpicked delicacies from the Mediterranean region.
It is our goal with A! to offer excellent quality by selecting our delicatessen products and groceries with the utmost care. First and foremost is the personal contact with the producers. We are very close to the farmers and the producers. We really know the production sites and the manufacturing process of our products.
Our range only includes products what we have found to be excellent after checking the production, the business premises and the people behind it.
Only what meets our strict standards ends up on the shelf. For us, in addition to excellent chemical and sensory properties of the products, this also includes ethical values in relation to their production.
On the one hand, it is important to us that we get an idea of the production conditions for each product on site. We want to make sure that neither people nor nature are exploited, throughout the chain, from the farmer’s soil to your plate. Where this is perhaps not yet possible, we work with the producers to achieve this goal.
That’s why, on the other hand, we attach great importance to paying fair prices to the producers. Because quality and fairness, sustainable cultivation and sustainable management as well as improvements in the manufacturing process cannot be achieved with discounter prices.
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And we are taking it one step further: from the entire added value, something should flow back into the region.
That is why we have set ourselves the goal of actively supporting the regions from which our products come — by returning part of the profit to the benefit of nature and people. We support regional social initiatives and nature conservation projects.
Hardly anything threatens human well-being today more than the destruction of the environment. For us, social issues and ecology therefore go hand in hand.
Just as we want to know our producers and the regions very well, close exchange with the people of the region and their needs is also essential to us.
That’s why we decided to take 5% of our profits from A! and channel it back into regional projects. In the future, we would also like to develop our own projects with local stakeholders.
Alagonia ZERO WASTE INITIATIVE
OUR FIRST PARTNER PROJECT FOR A!
The small community of Alagonia in the Taygetos mountains on the Peloponnese/Greece launched a zero waste initiative in 2020.
Alagonia is situated on the spectacular Langada Pass that connects Kalamata to Sparta. In breathtaking serpentines, this road winds through the Taygetos, the highest mountain range in the Peloponnese. The village of Alagonia has around 80 residents in winter and around 150 in summer. Its largest village festival (Panigiri) draws up to 1,000 visitors each year for music, food and dance Until recently, guests were provided with disposable tableware and plastic tablecloths, and each time a dedicated truck had to be hired to dispose of rubbish, including much leftover food.
In 2020, the Alagonia civic association was able to successfully develop a zero-waste concept: They purchased a basic stock of reusable crockery and cutlery, and instead of plastic there are now paper tablecloths on the tables. And the garbage is finally separated and sorted! Leftover food and paper tablecloths are composted in the village. The rest is disposed conventionally. In this way, the amount of waste was reduced from a truckload to one large garbage bag.
Currently, the stock of crockery, glasses and cutlery has to be stocked up, and the villagers need a dishwasher.
We think it’s precisely such small grassroots initiatives that need to be encouraged and supported. Also because they have radiance and a role model function. Alagonia is already receiving requests from neighboring villages to lend the crockery and cutlery.
The aim of the Alagonia civic association is to protect the spectacular and in places very untouched landscape and to sensitize and educate people about environmental protection. In this sense, they also run social projects such as the first communal barter shop in Greece, and various educational and awareness-raising programs.