Sandra Quarantini

Color Off is an officinal coloreria located in Ostrense. It is a start-up project born after months of studies and research from the idea of the applicant (she is a molecular biologist). Within one hectare of land located among the hills of the Marche Apennine, Sandra grows and processes dye plants in order to extract organic coloring and to perform dyes on natural fibers. Cultivations respect the principles of environmental sustainability and they have low environmental impact. She organizes classes and workshops of natural dyeing within her farm, a real lab, but also on other locations on request.

This start-up of natural coloring is the answer to the problems caused by synthetic dyes, pollution and allergies: this is the idea of Sandra Quarantini. Her color is yellow and she is specialized in the cultivation of reseda luteola from which she obtains a very bright yellow, which can be sold to clients as a plant or as a colorant. Her activity is addressed to weavers, tailors ad creatives, but many requests are coming from privates as well i.e. to dye newborn’s layettes and she will soon open an e-commerce because many requests arrive from abroad.

The project respects the environment and promotes new and sustainable lifestyles and consumption models.

The applicant and her husband bought a farm in 2005. Her husband started his agriculture business with 30 cows and she joined him in 2008. They have now more than 100 cows and produce 900,000 liters of milk per year all to the local dairy. In their 95 hectares they produce corn Lucerne and grass for the cattle. Since 2011 she started a new branch of business: dairy ice cream. 5.000 liters in 2011 to 20,000 last year.  The applicant sells the ice creams with Margar’Ice brand. She started with a small laboratory and a small delivery truck. Now she has a new and bigger laboratory where she has more storage an production space. She has 26 flavors with only natural ingredients. That’s to say that she adds sugar, cream, milk  powder at their milk.  She sells her production in supermarkets and dairy shops in the region. She also makes caramel and yoghurt; for the sorbets she buys real fruit. Since the beginning of the project, the farm has already been able to contract one person to help with the tasks. Selling the ice cream allows the family farm to increase the average milk price and to become less dependent of the milk price (and it’s variations).


In 1983, Margaret married her husband, Leo, and they moved to a 16-hectare dairy farm with 10 cows in Mullagh, on the border of Cavan and Meath, Ireland. Having worked in a bank, it did not take long for Margaret to realise that the income from the dairy farm would not make ends meet, so she looked around to see what could be done. Margaret realised that farming families kept few hens and so, since then, Margaret has been investing in this sector.


In 1987, Margaret began a pioneer investment in Ireland, buying 150 freerange laying hens and supplying a local packer. Nowadays, Margaret has 150 hectares of land, 168,000 free-range hens and her turnover stands at €6.2 million. The product is presented on Irish supermarket shelves in coloured packaging, which sets the O’Eggs apart – the ‘O’ stands for outdoor. 5 cents from each pack of O’Eggs goes to a cancer charity. Margaret also bet on Megga eggs, free-range eggs that are naturally enriched with omega 3, selenium and vitamin E via the hen’s diet. In 2009, Margaret identified another niche market, i.e. white eggs, and so invested in white hens. Three years later, in 2012, Margaret solved the problem of unsaleable very small and very large eggs by introducing pasteurised egg products and she now supplies bottled eggs to most of Ireland’s main supermarket chains. The company employs 33 full and part-time staff and Margaret works with 22 farmers who complete a poultry educational programme, including a programme with the University of Scotland. Margaret has also set up a research and development department for innovative products. This year, Margaret has already invested €8 million in production facilities. Because sustainability is key for Margaret, she developed the Origin Green Programme within the Irish food board and encourages people to visit her farm to see how transparent the procedures are for themselves. All of Margaret’s products and ideas are promoted via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and she recounts her inspiring tale of entrepreneurship and innovation on television programmes too. Margaret also participates in a national TV programme, “The Secret Millionaire”.

Judy was one of the first entrepreneurs in the Netherlands starting a care farm in 2000. The care farm has made several developments throughout the years becoming a development farm with a team of care coaches an production employees. The farm “De Laarhoeve” provides outbound care to approximately 25 production employees with special needs.  The farm assortment consists of jams, dessert sauces, apple sauce, cooking pears, red cabbage, chutneys, pasta sauces among others. The processing is completely natural and her costumers are the retail chains and the catering industry.

The applicant is building a professional experimental kitchen with several production and wrapping lines. This is a quality improvement and an expansion to current facilities. The design and equipment choice has been defined based on the work needs of the employees at the care farm maximizing their work space. The project provides the opportunity to develop and test new products and recipes before they are produced and processes at the farm. The products are put in the market with a private label; they don’t have added sugar, they have less salt then normal products and have a higher nutritional value. Rejected products due to shape, size or ripeness are usually used to feed livestock or thrown away. The applicant, with this project, creates value: preventing food waste, shortening the food chain, through quality improvement, cost reduction efficiency, transparency shortening of food miles and sustainability. Other farmers can use her facilities, have workshops , food tasting and company meetings there. The kitchen will be operating in Q3 2018 expanding meaningful work environment for workers with special needs.