Some time ago a friend came to visit, and she said something that I have thought about many times since; “There are not many places where there is such direct contact between a product and the people who consume it.”
That comment of hers, apparently so light and spontaneous, may reflect a latent feeling or desire which is common but not often expressed, although it is real.
There are silent things that are out there, unsaid, but when someone names them, or says them, it seems as if they were always there.
Ours is a cynical world, with many facades … as many people know. We tire of hearing it. But at heart, people always recognize things that are true.
Today, we are always hearing about the things that sell, things that give the image that we are a company, a project with values. That is why we talk about corporate social responsibility, organic food, sustainability, eco-friendly products, farm–to–table, zero kilometre… many noble things. Ours is a world that is so frivolous that it is capable of doing this, of using whatever is necessary in its own interest. To use empty words that mean nothing, that have not been lived or experienced.
Today there are few experiences that get to the bottom of things. Pablo D´Ors said that man is made for the quality of experiences, not for the quantity. It is so difficult to be calm, serene, in your circumstances. It is much easier to ‘fill it’ all with noise.
Into this context of images, in this symbolic universe, comes the book by Celler de Can Roca, Ignacio Medina and Sacha Hormaechea; Raíces. We were lucky enough to be included in the book and were invited to its presentation last Wednesday in the wonderful setting of the Botanical Gardens in Madrid, with those marvellous yellow and red colours.
Ignacio Medina writes:
He keeps saying…
“The restaurants that go beyond the usual are eager to explain to the diner that the products they offer were grown in an organic, natural way, that the animals were raised following the traditional guidelines of seasonal transhumance movement or that the fishing was carried out in a responsible, sustainable way, respecting the seabed and ensuring the survival of marine species, but they forget to mention those who decided to cultivate that less productive variety and did it in another way, the name of the person responsible for the perpetuation of the breeds that most abandoned because they didn’t turn a profit or the fisherman who decided to fish less but better, to preserve his way of life and our heritage. They forget the fundamentals; that farmers, cattle breeders and fishermen have faces and names, that their farms and their boats also have names, as do their fishing techniques, that their cattle come from specific breeds. The market is changing and a new customer model is growing, which is beginning to demand much more than responsibility and sustainability. It has been a long time since the big commercial networks turned those principles into labels that have lost value every day, until only the logo remains. The market always leads and demands new commitments. For starters; content, identity and consequences.”
We all need roots, stories and reality.
What a beautiful, forgotten word ‘modesty’ is.