Small family farms join into the first short supply chain in Croatia and avoid the middlemen for selling Croatian goods.
The first short supply chain (KOL) has been launched in Međimurje and it could soon be expanded to other parts of Croatia. The short supply chain “Best of Međimurje” was established within the framework of the Agrishort project, co-financed by the European Union funds, reports Lokalni.hr on October 25, 2018.The first short supply chain (KOL) has been launched in Međimurje and it could soon be expanded to other parts of Croatia. The short supply chain “Best of Međimurje” was established within the framework of the Agrishort project, co-financed by the European Union funds, reports Lokalni.hr on October 25, 2018.
The project allows small farmers to unite their Croatian goods
“Based on field evaluations of agricultural producers in Međimurje, twenty of them have been selected for entry into the KOL. The project allows small farmers to join together for the purpose of promotion and product offering. Promotional funds have been secured, and the KOL members use an association they have established to further cooperate on the promotion and distribution of quality local food products,” explained Ana Kralj, the managing director of the Regional Development Agency.
Some 20 producers from Međimurje have decided to connect and start selling their Croatian goods through online orders and doorstep delivery
It is a well-known fact that manufacturers in Croatia are often not willing to join forces, but some 20 producers from Međimurje have decided to connect and start selling through online orders and doorstep delivery rather than through large retail chains. The newly-established association “Best of Međimurje”, led by Valentina Hažić, wants to strengthen the direct links between farmers and consumers. “It was necessary to establish a new and different model of co-operation since co-operatives, producer organizations and similar forms of cooperation do not tend to survive in our areas,” said Hažić.
The offer includes more than 100 Croatian goods
The association has 20 regular members, mostly farmers, and several representatives of institutions, services, companies and individuals as supportive members. The offer includes more than 100 products which carry the gold “Best of Međimurje” label.
“The association is a testament to strong connections between members who communicate with each other almost daily, negotiate joint efforts and assist each other in product placement. Since the association was launched only recently, although the idea has been developed for a number of years, there has been great support from the local community. It has also been recognised as a key opportunity for local development which lies in creating synergies between KOL and tourism since it provides support to farmers to integrate their products into the tourism and hospitality sector.
There is an excellent cooperation with Terme Sveti Martin, as well as with the Economic School in Čakovec, whose students will get involved in product delivery. Some producers have already started cooperating with schools and retirement homes,” noted Hažić.
Prior to being allowed to enter the KOL, the association checks the quality and origin of each product, as well as whether all the legal preconditions have been met. “This model of cooperation puts the producer in the centre, their personality and character, and only then the product itself.
Confidence between the producer and the customer generates sales, rather than packing or labelling,” she explained.
One of the fundamental elements of such cooperation lies in the development of local economy and welfare for the entire community, and not just individuals. “It is a shame that such forms of cooperation did not happen earlier in Croatia because there would be more small producers who are key to the development of the rural areas. I personally think that the short supply chains could save the Croatian agriculture and rural areas,” concluded Hažić.
Translated from Lokalni.hr (reported by Ivica Beti).