Exclusive brands

Pastificio Veneto

Pastificio Veneto

Artisan chilled vegan and vegetarian pasta range

Essential is in partnership with Italian artisan pasta brand Pastificio Veneto to distribute the range exclusively in the UK to natural health stores. Fresh Tortelli Stuffed with Vegetables & Creamy Risella and Fresh Tortelli with Pizzaoila Tomato & Mozzarisella are the two vegan options in the range; and the two classic Italian vegetarian varieties are Fresh Egg Tortelli Stuffed with Spinach & Ricotta and Fresh Egg Ravioli with Mediterranean Vegetables.

Pastificio Veneto

The Pastificio Veneto co-operative is based in Castelfranco Veneto and employs local people who are socially disadvantaged and may otherwise find it hard to gain employment in the area.

Pastificio Veneto

The co-op uses locally sourced organic ingredients ­– including Treviso-produced Mozzarisella, a vegan alternative to mozzarella made from sprouted rice – and is environmentally-friendly.

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La Terra e il Cielo

La Terra e il Cielo

An organic agriculture co-operative founded in 1980 in the Marche Region, Italy, La Terra can be considered as one of the pioneer companies to invest in the field of Italian organic production. The co-operative incorporates 100 associate farms that contribute raw materials; many of them are located in the inland of the Marche and play a very important role in terms of environmental protection and sound rural development.

La Terra e il Cielo has an ethical structure based on:

  • Ecological approach.
  • Anti-GMO actions.
  • Democratic management.
  • Co-operative work.
  • Profits used for social purposes.
  • Support for small organic producers.
  • Fairtrade.
  • Social economy network promotion.

Main La Terra e il Cielo products

La Terra e il Cielo markets a wide range of certified products, such as pasta (spelt, wheat, kamut, corn, buckwheat), cereals, puffed spelt, extra virgin olive oil, tomato sauces, and - last but not least - our fairly traded Caffe della Pace, directly imported from a Guatemalan co-operative of small scale Mayan producers and produced in collaboration with Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu.

Among many other international awards, at the beginning of 2009, La Terra e il Cielo received the Silver Medal for the best durum wheat semolina pasta and wholewheat pasta from the Testzentrum Lebensmittel of Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG).

Algamar - Galicia (Spain) - the underwater vegetable garden of Southern Europe

Algamar

Galicia (northwestern Spain) has 35% of the total Spanish coastline. It is a region with an abundance and wide diversity of marine species and a deep- rooted seafaring tradition. Its location, between the 42nd and 44th parallels, is, strangely enough, on the same latitude as the coasts of Japan. Algamar is the leading Spanish firm specialising in dried sea vegetables for human consumption.

The company was founded in 1996 by the Fernandez Saa brothers, Clemente and Fermin, consumers and producers of organic foods since the 1970s, with the aim of promoting and spreading the word about the marvelous nutritional properties of Galicia's native sea vegetables.

Its headquarters are in the Bay of Vigo, 18 km from the city of Vigo and 30 km north of the Portuguese border. Most of the company's sea vegetables are harvested on the southern coast of Galicia, a designated part of the European Union's Natura 2000 network and very close to the Atlantic Islands Natural Reserve.

Ecology and the environment

Some of the oldest living beings on the planet, sea vegetables are also some of the few wild vegetables in the world - a true luxury in these times. They constitute a natural resource that renews itself every year in the sea, making them a stable and sustainable food source.

Another of Algamar's objectives is to run its production facilities completely on renewable energy. Algamar is also participating in the programme to plant 100 million trees in Spain to help combat climate change.

Social concerns

The firm is based in a rural area categorised as being at risk of depopulation. ALGAMAR provides jobs for local people, thus allowing them to stay in their place of origin and help to keep their social and cultural values alive.

Since it was founded, the firm has cooperated closely with the local fishermen's guilds, offering them an innovative alternative to their traditional fishing activities.

It is also currently participating in a Spanish ethical business initiative.

Scientific aspect

Since 1998, Algamar has cooperated with the prestigious Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) (Department of Metabolism and Nutrition), the University of Santiago de Compostela (Food Sciences) and the Complutense University of Madrid (Pharmacy) in various studies relating to the potential of native edible sea vegetables.

The CSIC is currently working on a "new foods" project based on Algamar's sea vegetables.

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