Citizens in field

Citizens in field

Melegnano (Milano), ItalyMelegnano (Milano), Italy
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The project of the social cooperative Domdoca non-profit organization is based on a qualifying aspect: respect for nature, not forcing the growth of vegetables, patient care and manual of the same, the construction of the so-called "short chain".

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

It is very difficult for citizens, getting healthy food and quality, ethically produced and priced right. With our project we want to create a "model" to ensure quality agricultural products and above all sustainable.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The project would achieve its social goals through productive activities, mainly in the production and processing of agricultural products, by integrating work of socially disadvantaged people, in not less than 30% of workers.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We believe that the involvement of the territory, in the form of associations, buying groups and simple families and citizens will be able to create a virtuous circle that will generate income. Above all, the key to the success of the project will be the concept of bringing the country to the city, to meet the deep need for citizens to find a way of life more sustainable.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The scope of the project will initially affect the population living within a radius of 20/30 km from the field of cultivation. Our solution will have a real positive impact on everyday life, resulting in a true innovative change in the way people buy and consume.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

2013 - 2014 plant 2 hectares orchard and 2 acres of organic vegetables 2014 - 2016 project implementation and extension of the cultivated area - economic sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

At the moment there are no other territories that are undergoing similar projects. Our model is an absolute innovation.

Founding Story

When Graziella was mayor, she meet a lot of people coming from stories of disadvantage. When she completed the term of her office, decide to get cracking ("Domdoca" in local dialect) at them, working together for a better way of life.
Organization Name

Domdoca Onlus

About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


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Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?

First of all, this project was born from a great opportunity: an extended loan by Boehringer Ingelheim of a plot of land.
We believe in the value of cooperation and synergies that can be realized from the encounter between profit and non-profit, aims to promote the production of quality food, offering more opportunities for health and supporting, through the Cooperative Domdoca type "B" the most disadvantaged social groups.
The project idea is also born from the collaboration of the Cooperative Domdoca with the project "Feeding Milan, energies for Change" Slow Food Italy.
Slow Food is a global organization founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat.
The innovation of this project is about a double crossing purpose: from one side the involvment of disadvantaged people in creating "health", preventing the disease starting from food: good for citizens and good for environment.
From an other side engage the population in creating a system of services to redefine the features of metropolitan area of South Milan as a pilot laboratory of sustainable, ethic and innovative food producing.
In summary, the project will create new opportunities for citizens of direct exchange with the South Milan Agricultural Park and its resources, in order to realize a repeatable model of excellence.

Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?

A key aspect of the development of the project is the inclusion and participation of the population in the entire production process, to self pick-up in the field of products that people can recognize as healthy and sustainable.
The project would also achieve its social goals through productive activities, mainly in the production and processing of agricultural products, by integrating work of socially disadvantaged people, in not less than 30% of workers.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Features such as mutuality, solidarity, democracy, the commitment, the balance of responsibilities and roles, community spirit, the link with the territory, a balanced relationship with the state and public institutions.
The project would demonstrate how the inclusion and recovery work in social cooperative not only increase the social and psychological well-being of thousands of individuals and families but, far from being a cost to the community, provide significant savings of public resources already in short period.

How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?

The innovation potential of the agricultural production system based on participation is in principle infinite, then the large size of the area allocated to the project, allows to expand the plantation, producing vegetables and fruits meeting the direct needs and demands of the population: this opportunity preserve all the project features of originality and participation.

Organization Country

, Melegnano (Milano)

Business Model
The systemic challenge you are trying to overcome (select one)

Bring accessible healthcare to communities in emerging markets

Health area (target market) where the need is [select only one]


Categories along the health continuum you are covering [select all that apply]

Prevention, Intervention, Social integration.

Stage that best applies to your solution [select only one]

Scaling (growing impact on a regional or global scale)

Core strategies of your business model [select all that apply]

Approaches to behavioral change at the individual level, New approaches to distribution of health products and services.

If other, specify here:
Most relevant tools you are using to implement the strategies outlined above [select only two]

New skills, Education/training.

If other, specify here:
What is your value proposition?

Price and "short chain" next to authenticity and freshness are the hallmarks of our products.
The main purpose we propose through the use of a methodology to short chain is to contain and reduce the costs of products, limit and restrict the production steps for also lead to direct contact between the producer and the consumer.

Who is your customer(s)?

People, citizens and families of the area, who want to share an idea of participation and sustainability.
Associations and cooperatives, buying groups linked (GAS).
Small distribution centers within the city.

What approaches to you use to reach your customers?

The "buzz" in the area and the non-traditional communication, besides the use of social networks and the engagement of GAS and other networks of associations.

What are your primary activities?

The main activity will consist of cultivation of vegetables and organic fruit, which be sold with a new way called "self picking", directly in field.

What other challenges - individual, organizational, or environmental – are you currently facing or might hinder future success of your business, and how do you plan to overcome those?

Our main problem, actually, is organizational, that is find enough people with the right skills who can work in the field.

Briefly describe your growth strategy going forward

Our growth strategy is to gradually consolidate a network of small-scale distribution and direct sale of products, so as to reach every season to expand the area of land cultivated and also increase the variety of vegetables according to the request.

What dimensions for growth are you currently targeting for your innovation [select all that apply]

New customer group(s).

What makes your business "ready" for growth?

The growth of the business is ensured from being able to offer a response to the profound needs of the citizens to find sustainable living spaces and quality, starting of course from food.

What are your key growth objectives?

The main objective of growth and consolidation of the project is to be able to economically self-sustaining in a couple of years, but without neglecting the commitment to ensuring employment opportunities and inclusion for people in need.

Organization's Country of Operation

, Melegnano (Milano)

Social Impact
What methods for quantification of social impact are you applying (if at all)?


Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

The participation and involvement are the key of the repeatibility of our project in other areas. Wherever people feel the need for food "fair and quality", we believe that our solution can work.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

The social impact of the project will expand its reach by going to affect increasingly large segments of the population.

Elaborate on your current financing strategy

Currently the project is financially supported by the agricultural cooperative social Domdoca, which operates in the services sector.

Share of revenue generation in total income of organization (in percent)


Direct sales to patients or other beneficiaries (in percent)


Of the possible sources of these sales listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Individuals, Private businesses, Other beneficiaries.

Licensing fees, e.g., for technology/franchise model (in percent)
Of the possible sources of these licensing opportunities listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Foundations, Private businesses, Regional government, Others.

Service contract with organizations, e.g., government, NGOs (in percent)


Of the possible sources of the service contracts listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Foundations, Private businesses, Regional government, Others.

Explain your revenue generation strategy in more detail

Currently, maintenance of green services to the population carried out by local authorities.

Share of philanthropy in total income of organization (in percent)


Philanthrophy strategies you are using

Explain your philanthropic approach in more detail


Expand on your selections; explain how you will sustain funding over the next 1-3 years.

Our project will be self-sustaining in two years. In the meantime it will be supported by cooperative domdoca.

Years in Operation

Operating for more than 5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them