The fourth Peer Review within FoodChains 4 EU Project, was hosted by Maramures County Council, during 5 – 9 November 2018. 20 food specialists of project partner regions from NL, BG, IT and UK analyzed the food chain in Maramures County, focusing on 3 local important topics:
1. Identification of local products representative for Maramures with market potential and methods to support the local traditional producers
2. Innovative models of food business association and mechanisms to support them
3. Innovative methods of selling and packaging food, including traditional ones
International experts participated in seminars, visits and working meetings with representative producers, specialists and local and regional stakeholders interested in promoting local and traditional products.
Seminar ”Current Situation of Food Chains in Maramures County”, 6th November 2018
Mr. Ioan Doru Dancus, vice president of Maramureş County Council, addressed the welcome speech and Mrs. Mihaela Lite, the local manager of "FoodChains 4 Europe" project, presented project activities, expected results, "Good of Maramures" concept - an initiative of Maramures County Council through this project and the Peer Review in Maramures.
Representatives of Agriculture Directorate of Maramures County, local producer associations, LAGs and local NGOs reviewed the current situation of local food chains: companies in food sector; 65 traditional products and 3 dedicated recipes; support measures for local producers; association and cooperation for entering on local, regional, national and international market; successful European projects to promote healthy food and ecology.
The questions and comments have contributed to create an exhaustive and relevant picture regarding the current situation of Maramures food chain, providing a basis of reflection for Peer Review experts.
Visits and meetings, 6th and 7th November 2018, took place at local companies involved in various stages and components of Maramures food chain: milk products ("Roxar" company), bakery ("Baia Sprie" Bakery and "Les" Bakery), meat products ("Ferma Zootehnica" Company), livestock and poultry ("Ferma Zootehnica" Company and Ostrich Farm Calinesti) and social economy (ASSOC Baia Mare, NGO).
The European experts observed the variety of Maramures products and different approaches on production, marketing, supply and selling of local products and services in order to meet the needs and demands of local consumers for traditional, healthy and quality food.
Activities with local stakeholders: Visit at UTCN - North University Center Baia Mare and Student Culinary Competition "Costa", 8th November 2018
During the visit, the University of Baia Mare was presented and the cooperation agreement between AERES University of Flevoland Province (Netherlands) and UTCN - North University Center Baia Mare was signed, this agreement representing a concrete result of the FC4EU Project.
The 2018 edition of the "Costa" Culinary Competition gathered 23 teams of students of Baia Mare University to present innovative products produced on their own recipes, under the guidance of university specialists. The Maramures County Council provided a part of necessary ingredients, awarded diplomas and prizes to all participants and also awarded a special prize to the team that produced "Milk Jam", the most appreciated product by the Peer Review experts.
Meetings of the Peer Review experts
During 5 days of PR in Maramures, the international experts met and discussed about the food chains in Maramures, paying attention at the 3 focus of the Peer Review, to identify support methods for local producers and their associations, to encourage introduction of innovation, while preserving traditional and specific character of recipes, technologies and products of Maramures.
Dissemination Seminar for the Peer Review Preliminary Report on the food chains of Maramures, 9th November 2018
The initial observations of the specialists involved in the Peer Review in Maramures, highlight aspects of the Maramures food chain:
- Traditional products are well accepted by the local people
- There is strong willingness to support local producers from the County Council of Maramures
- First steps towards development of branding are made
- Maramures producers are passionate about making high quality products
- High quality products produced by passionate local producers
- There is an opportunity to build a business support structure to stimulate/support/accelerate local companies
- There is potential to develop new commercial opportunities through collaboration (business 2 business).
The all recommendations will be presented in the Final Report of the Peer Review and will address to the 3 topics of the Peer Review mentioned above. Based on these recommendations, the Maramures County Council will draw up an action plan that will include the introduction of a labeling system for local products called "Bun de Maramures".