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Chair of Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Celler de Can Roca

Girona

The restaurant that has twice been considered the best restaurant in the world combines tradition, innovation, landscape and sustainability, and advocates a new culinary avant-garde centred on humanism. Promotes sustainable cuisine and the use of local ingredients.
The roots of their success lie not only in their ability to deliver technical excellence and emotion at the same time, but also in a commitment to sustainability and solidarity. They defend local producers, and work with food in ways that protect the environment and promote a healthy diet.

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The people on the team are key: the whole taste experience would not be of much use if the waiter who greeted you was unhappy, and felt unappreciated, as in this case s/he would not value you as a customer. There are 65 people on the team, all of whom are keen to listen in order to manage talent and diversity, and also conflict. Every Tuesday they close at noon to create a team dynamic that in turn creates a better atmosphere, even though this involves a loss of revenue. “We enjoy ourselves at work. We’re lucky because we have managed to make our passion our profession. We have to generate income, otherwise it wouldn't be sustainable, but we put ethics first when deciding what to do and what not to do: many people approach us with interesting proposals, but we always choose to do things that we feel comfortable with. We know that success is short-lived, want to continue to work in the same way in the future, and be able to look our customers in the eye”.

They have received requests to open restaurants elsewhere, but have preferred to go on a tour once a year to cook in a particular place in the world, taking the whole team with them: it's a great professional and team experience, living together generates empathy and a feeling of being a part of the project. The challenge is to go to each country and cook with the local products within the framework of the local culture. It is an exercise in humility. It gets the whole team involved in the challenge of starting all over again. “We don’t come to teach, but rather to learn and pay homage to the other culture".

They believe that innovation requires a certain boldness: vacuum cooking at low temperature used to be associated with industrial processes, and could seem an odd thing to talk about at a gastronomy congress, but in fact it allows better preservation of tastes, textures, properties, etc. Moreover, they share their knowledge of vacuum cooking via an online course and aim to bring a domestic version of this technique to the home.

They have helped with the recovery of livestock breeds such as the Ripolles sheep; they have created an organic vegetable garden and a recycling workshop where they help children at risk of social exclusion, and they convert glass bottles into cups and other containers that can subsequently be used.

Brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca have been UN goodwill ambassadors since 2016, contributing to the United Nations' global Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, and are committed to using their influence and culinary expertise to generate new sustainable goals in nutrition and sustainability. They will help in the fight against hunger, for environmental sustainability and the promotion of food education. They want to help change lives, and affirm that we must ensure an environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically inclusive food business chain that ensures access to food for all. Thus, they are exploring ways for small-scale farmers to promote local sourcing of food produce, together with other innovative practices that can increase yields and improve livelihoods. In addition, they will be supporting the SDG Fund in establishing a network of training centres, starting in Africa, in an effort to increase sustainability, reduce waste and improve market conditions for farmers and small businesses, and to create new jobs, promote gender equality and provide vocational training.

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