Taking into consideration the synergies between FoodChains 4 Europe project and SME Organics project, the North-West Development Agency from Romania, partner within the latter, invited a member of FC4EU project team from Maramures County Council to an exchange of experience in Lodz (Poland) between the 26.02.2018 – 02.03.2018.
The focus of this study visit was to receive as much information as possible concerning the Polish approach regarding the bio certified food production and the relevant public policies in the field.
A first stop was made at the Faculty of Bio-technology and Food Science from Lodz that introduced the stakeholders into the local market of bio-producers, the area’s potential to deliver bio products and their market access potential.
To complete this image, the stakeholders visited the Agricultural Consultancy Centre from Bratoszewice (Lodzkie region) where local producers and cultivators presented their experiences in the field . They gave stakeholders practical inputs in what concerns the support of the authorities in the processes and efforts that are involved in this standardized industry, from certification, using the correct bio-fertilizers to the sophisticated process of market education and access.
The area visited is well-known for the bio-production of jams, tea, and wines, as they also produce a niche wine from black choke berry.
The representatives of Maramures County Council, members in FC4EU project team, have made several proposals to be included in the 2018-2020 Action Plan for the Eco Sector. This document is currently under preparation within the North-West Development Agency from Romania and is expected to set some strategical lines in this field, these directions will also impact the region of Maramures. Among them a good example from the Finnish partners of SME Organics project that could be integrated as a policy proposal at regional level concerning the wild fruits/berries picked or cultivated in the access zones of the protected areas (national parks, Natura 2000 sites) to be automatically considered and certified as ecological, taking into consideration their origin.
This proposal is currently under evaluation, but Maramures region is strongly interested in supporting it, as the region has large surfaces covered by natural sites, parks and protected areas.