How sustainable procurement is taking on the mafia

28 September 2009

Buyers often raise the importance sustainable procurement can have on local communities, but this article in last week’s Times demonstrates this in the extreme.

Businesses in the city of Palermo in Sicily have grouped together to form “Addiopizzo” which aims to tackle the protection racket run by the island’s mafia. Around 300 companies, including hotels, bars and restaurants, have signed up to the organisation, and refuse to pay the 10 per cent demanded by the city’s gangsters.

And now the organisation is asking the island's residents and locals to support those businesses that are part of the organisation by only buying from them. Last month saw the first wedding where all the suppliers, including dress designer, catering and wedding list, were Addiopizzo members.

Members of the group suffer constant death threats and other violence, and it is estimated that 80 per cent of businesses in the city still pay protection money to the mafia. But the organisation is confident their anti-mafia sourcing campaign will eventually produce the result they desire.

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