Cooperative "La Fageda" pursues, since 25 years, a social enterprise’s project to help people with mental illness to face their personal dramas and the inevitable consequences of the social isolation. It was founded in 1982 in Olot, due to the joint initiative of a group of professionals in psychiatry and also thanks to the collaboration of the Psychiatric Hospital of Girona.
The Fageda is a Catalan non-profit organization born with the purpose of labor integration of people of the region of the Garrotxa (Girona) suffering severe intellectual disabilities or mental disorders. This cooperative has an estate of 15 hectares in one of the main reserves of the Natural Park of the volcanic zone of the Garrotxa, here take place the majority of their social and productive activities.
This social project is promoted by three legal entities: the “Fageda Societat Cooperativa”, the “Fundació de Seveis Assistencials de la Garrotxa” and also the “Fageda Fundació”.
The Fageda provides work for all the adults’ residents in the Garrotxa having a certificate of mental disability and which are available to work, unique example in the entire country. It also represents one of the few experiences of this kind that has been able to carry a successful business model within a truly social project; so that they decided to write "The Fageda Model".
The Fageda has created a gardening company that deals with the maintenance of most of the green areas of the municipalities of the region and, moreover, they are in charge for the cleaning of the Natural Park. The farm counts 500 dairy cows and a fish-pond of native plants that produce approximately 1.500.000 plants every year for the reforestation.
Since 1992, the Fageda has created a milk-based products brand, turning into the third yoghurt manufacturer in Catalonia (this is one the most important Fageda’s activities in terms of turnover). These products are commercialized in the big companies of distribution and in the hospitable institutions.
"The Fageda yoghurt" has achieved a good market diffusion as a Catalan high quality brand, this represents a significant amount if we consider that they have to compete with two big corporations in the same sector.
The Spanish firm started its activity in the field of gardening and agriculture involving only 12 people. Now the total number of workers and assisted people is 270 members, 168 of whom have intellectual disabilities or mental illness. In addition the company can be proud of a turnover of € 14,433,000 (at 31.12.2013) and to have reached a production of 55 million yogurts units per year.