Once again, one semester is coming to its end and for FRIDGE partners it has certainly been a busy one. During the 3rd semester partners have been identifying Good Practices that help food SMEs to enhance competitiveness. The practices vary widely from models of promoting local food industries to support mechanisms for business and product development. Some of the identified practices can already be found on the project websites and more will be uploaded during the following weeks.

One milestone for the project was also the finalization of the SMEs survey and comparative analysis on the regional food sectors. Both studies gave important results that will be utilized in the Action Plan development processes. In November the partners also had the third Joint Workshop that focused on the Market Reach thematic and presented Good Practices around the topic.

In addition to the interregional activities and exchange of experiences a lot that has happened in the FRDIGE regions. So, let’s take a look at the regional level!

Greetings from Tolna

The 3rd semester has been certainly a fruitful one in Tolna County. We have been learning a lot from the other regions’ Good Practices and engaged local actors to the project and we are looking forward to take this knowledge to the local level.

From our region in general, we have been glad to follow the opening of the first package free store in the city of Szekszárd. The opening preceded a thorough consumer survey via Facebook, which resulted in an engaged and committed online community that has been expanding ever still.

The shop offers storable food such as spices, pastas, legumes and nuts, delicacies from local producers but also household items, such as detergents. Apart from being package and additive free, the store also pays attention to purchasing from as closely as possible. In order to broaden the supply and the services, a moving is due soon into larger premises. Being in such a small city, environmentally conscious consumers in the area are finally able to purchase in a sustainable way; package free and local.

Greetings from Harghita

During the semester we have organized two successful local stakeholder meetings. The first meeting was held on the 11th of December and several local producers and representatives of restaurants from the county participated in the meeting. The main objective was to facilitate the formation of partnerships between these actors to ensure local producers the possibility to sell their products as raw materials for restaurants. For this activity the successful example of collaboration at the Butchers’ Hall, a Good Practice from East-Flanders, has been of inspiration.

During the second local stakeholder meeting held on 18th of December we presented all the good practices known within the project. We also had the opportunity to learn about the difficulties encountered by local SMEs and initiatives in the context of Covid-19. The local meeting was held together with the local products fair.

Greetings from Upper-Franconia

In the current semester, our online conversations with stakeholders have certainly intensified. Through the exchange with responsible actors, such as the Food Cluster Bavaria, we have been able to gain a good insight into the current situation of the food industry, as well as in comparison to the situation before the pandemic.

Particularly significant is the fact that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the awareness of regionally produced food has increased again and the demand for local SMEs enjoyed increased popularity.

On the interregional level we were happy to co-host the Online Joint Workshop held in November and share two of our good practices, the Trilogy of Platforms and Food Cluster Bavaria for the participants. Although it was a pity that we couldn’t organise and host the study visit for the partners and stakeholders in real life.

The story continues

Greetings from the last three partner regions, South Ostrobothnia, East-Flanders and Western Macedonia will be published in <<the second wrap-up article>>