VEAMAT is the acronym for Municipal Food Business Incubator of Tagamanent Town Hall. It was created in 2017 with the purpose of boosting the local agri-food production indutsry, offering entrepreneurs and micro-businesses in the sector a common space and facilities.
The VEAMAT collective workshop allows local producers to have a workshop with professional machinery without the need of an initial investment, access to professional technical consultancy and most importantly, the ability to check the viability of their project before carrying it out themselves.
Problem: creation of the collective workshop
“The success of this workshop lies in the fact that it arose from the need of a group of neighbors who wanted to carry out an activity in the primary sector and proposed to build a municipal workshop. From the City Council we accepted this project as our own and we turned to higher public administrations to seek funding and start developing it.”Ignasi Martínez, Mayor of Tagamanent
The main concern in the VEAMAT collective workshop was to find professional and complex machinery suitable.
Challenges: finding reliable and durable specialized machinery and access to continuous training
Finding reliable machinery coupled with access to continuous training for the members of the workshop were the main challenges to address by the Tagamanent City Council when setting up VEAMAT.
In the case of more complex equipment such as the autoclave, essential to comply with food safety and quality regulations, simplicity of use and access to professional consultancy were key when choosing the equipment.
For this reason, it was necessary to find a reliable autoclave and also, if possible, from a national manufacturer, which allows them to create a bond of trust with the local entrepeneurs.
Solution: count on a great partner with experience in collective workshops
VEAMAT is a municipal initiative and, as such, spending must be fully optimised. From the beginning, a reliable autoclave that included a consultancy and technical service was required, available at all times to resolve any doubt or incident.
“We have a blast chiller and an autoclave that serves me for sterilization and to ensure that the food processes with which I work are safe. Without this machinery, I would not be able to make this whole range of products.”Marisa Pelaez, local producer from Cor del Montseny
On the other hand, since there are so many producers who use and will use the autoclave, it was essential to have a specific training program to teach its correct use and achieve the best results. To do this, from TERRA Food-Tech ® different courses were offered, distinguishing between newly admitted participants with beginner needs and more experienced producers with more specific and advanced questions regarding the use of the autoclave.
Likewise, the fact that we are collective workshop does not mean that individuality does not matter. Each producer has certain needs and each product has specific characteristics. The range of producers and artisan products that are made in VEAMAT is very wide and this requires personalized advice. Thanks to Albert Monferrer, an expert food consultant who collaborates with TERRA Food-Tech ®, the participants of this initiative recieved orientation and technical support for the preparation of preserves and packed ready meals at all times.
“Problems? Well, Albert Monferrer, an expert food consultant who collaborates with TERRA Food-Tech ®, has solved many for me. From not knowing anything about how to work with an autoclave machine to teach me and facilitate this work, in addition to helping me to better develop my product and improve my productivity. I am sure that when I create my own workshop, the autoclave will be an indispensable piece of equipment.”Ma Àngels Puertas, producer of Aixada Conservas
If you are considering starting a canning business and/or are looking for more information about collective workshops, in our Blog you will find an article about Shared workshops: an opportunity to launch new artisan products for local producers.