The Mas Albornà Foundation is a non-profit organization located in the Alt Penedès region within Spain that for more than 50 years has been working to achieve the social and occupational integration of people with intellectual and functional diversity, mental disorders and people that are at risk of social exclusion. For this, it offers a wide range of services to companies and municipalities.
They are a group made up of 400 people, including employers, workers and assisted people; that every day strives to publicize its work, create new synergies and initiatives.
Social initiatives such as the Mallart Artisans Butchers, a workshop dedicated to making traditional sausages and other delicatessen products with more than 100 years of history and through which 5 family generations have already passed. Mallart represents a great step for Mas Albornà to break down barriers and normalize the social and occupational integration of people with disabilities and mental disorders.
At Mallart Artisan Butchers, different products are made, from egg and sausages to pâté of the traditional Penedès Rooster PGI, the first pâté to have a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
With the elaboration of this pâté, the aim is to influence three great values: to recover the Penedès Rooster breed, to offer work to vulnerable groups thanks to Mas Albornà and to continue promoting the Mallart Artesanos tradition. All this with the corresponding quality seal and innovating in the market with a non-existent product so far.
Problem: continue the family business by turning it into a social initiative of the food sector
The Mas Albornà Foundation has been working with people with intellectual functional diversity, mental disorder and risk of social exclusion for a long time and knows how difficult it is to find a safe work for them in our current society. One way to achieve this is by devising and carrying out social projects that integrate them from the beginning. But that was not the case with Mallart Artisan Butchers.
After more than 100 years of experience and on the verge of retirement, the Mallart family finds that the continuity of their legacy is not resolved. Ernest, the generational replacement of the business with the trade of butcher and trained in the family workshop, is a person with intellectual disabilities. Managing the company alone is complicated and that is why they decide to contact the Mas Albornà Foundation with a double purpose: to guarantee the stability and quality of their son’s job, as well as to preserve the continuity of the family business by avoiding his disappearance.
In this way, in January 2018 Mallart Artisan Butchers was reborn and took a new boost from the Mas Albornà Foundation, thus also becoming a social initiative that adds value and commitment to the products it makes.
A new stage begins, but the same essence of the origins and the flavor of tradition are maintained, turning a local and family business into a social initiative with impact and projection.
This was a complicated task, since for the Mas Albornà Foundation the food sector was totally unknown and it needed the necessary knowledge to be able to produce artisanal sausages (fresh, cooked and cured) and the pâté of Penedès rooster GPI .
Challenge: acquire the necessary knowledge
Immediately, the wisdom and experience of Mallart Artisan Butchers was put at the service of this new project. Although it not only consisted of continuing with the tradition, but also of thinking about new products that would serve to reinforce food products typical of the Penedès region, such as the black rooster. Hence the idea of creating a range of products made with certified authentic Penedès rooster: rustic pâté, confit, broth and pickled fins.
Making these products, unique on the market, also meant learning how to make and preserve them. Therefore, the support of the Regulatory Council of the GPI Rooster of Penedès and the advice of the Alicia Foundation, a research center dedicated to technological innovation within the kitchen.
Together with the Alicia Foundation they dedicated themselves to shaping the new recipes from scratch. They therefore decided that their rooster products should be able to be easily distributed without the need of a cold chain. A decision that was once again another challenge for them.
Solution: sterilize your products to preserve them for longer and without the need of a cold distribution or refrigerated storage
Another important challenge that they faced, they wanted their rustic pâté, confit, broth and pickled fins to have a long shelf life without refrigeration. The solution was reached together with TERRA Food-Tech® thanks to its autoclave that sterilizes all sorts of food products.
“The TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave has been part of the launch strategy of our products with Penedès Rooster.”Enric Hernández, production manager at Mallart Artisan Butchers
To learn about the performance and operation of the machine, they went to their offices in Terrassa where they explained and accompanied them in the first phases of the project.
And so, at the end of 2020 they presented their new range of products made exclusively with Penedès rooster GPI and in a totally artisanal way in the Mallart Artisan Butchers workshop. Available in butcher shops and specialized stores in Catalonia, in addition they are now also for sale on their own online store and in the Esclat and Bonpreu supermarket chains.
“We definitely recommend the TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave. This has been key to the success of our objective, which has been to be able to launch a new range of products on the market.”Enric Hernández, production manager at Mallart Artisan Butchers