On May 14 this year, INTER-BIO Association, an interprofessional association for organic agri-food products, organized together with: USH Pro Business, BIOTERRA, the Romanian Association of Bioagriculturers and the Bio Danubius cluster, founding members of the association, a digital seminar dedicated to organic products, in the current context the modest performances of the field in Romania.
The members of the association, farmers and associative structures, researchers, academia, organizers of fairs and digital events (Dubai, UAE and Biofach Germany), companies in the field of precision agriculture were present.
An important conclusion was that, if we want to reduce the gaps in the adoption of organic farming, there should be a national strategy with the active involvement of state authorities in order to: stimulate the consumption of organic products, stimulate the processing of organic products and the links in the supply chain. create product promotions on the domestic market and for export, stimulate research, innovation and digitalization.
“Although Romania has important advantages in the ecological field, its performances continue to be modest, and the Romanian agri-food model seems to evolve contrary to the European one, which is increasing, mostly the ecological one. The business environment in the field is burdened and poorly supported, the supply chains are not consistent and the confusion between ecological and conventional agriculture persists with a disadvantage of those who invest in healthy food, without pesticides and other chemical or toxic ingredients. The recent pandemic will accelerate the adoption of organic farming in the EU and globally, “said Costin Lianu, Inter-Bio President.
“Biodiversity, soil and water quality in Romania are constantly threatened, we are losing these assets in the Danube Delta and in the protected areas or in other agricultural areas where the degree of threat and contamination is little known. If we practice organic farming, we will have the guarantee from the private standards for which Bio Danubius and Inter-Bio are constantly fighting “, said Mr. Petrișor Petrescu, Inter-Bio Vice President and President of the Bio Danubius cluster.
Mr. Aurel Petruș, an organic farmer, claims that there are many regulations that discourage farmers and that could be rethought, such as: multiannual sanctions, the period of organic employment, permissiveness of controls for those who say they practice organic farming or separation within the surface declaration of the subsidy so that the organic farmer is not treated in the same way as a conventional farmer on the subsidy.
“The Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Program. Integrated Export Services for SMEs in Romania, to support organic producers was a notable achievement but which reached only a small number of producers. The idea of Inter-Bio was born through this program. Farmers need consistent support and a clear political will because we need to use this great ecological potential that we would otherwise waste.”, said Albert Imre, Inter-Bio Vice President.
There was a presentation regarding the possibilities for Romanian companies to participate in the international fair MENOPE, Dubai, in a mixed format, digitally and as a physical presence, in December 2020 . So, from month to month, until September, the organizers provide a matching platform that focuses on a different topic each time, in the bio field.
Digital Trade Week creates real contacts. If, for example, a honey company and distributor enters this platform, he connects directly with honey importers, all products made by the producer are uploaded to Arabian Organics and promoted there. At the beginning of each week, a webinar is organized with importers from the Arab market, from various fields, who will explain the demands and changes in the market. Registration is free and is part of the exhibition registration package.
The conclusion of the Organic Digital Trade Week presentation is that matching can be done on the created platform. This gives an advantage to companies for the moment when they will participate in the fair, in December (already the exporter and the importer know each other, because they discussed, the exporter has already presented the products, catalogs, the importer will approve them and both of them can go further to signing contracts). It is a big step forward, to use participation in fairs and exhibitions, not as a beginer who at the end of the event notices that he did not close any deal, which often happens to many exhibitors. This new possibility does not necessarily offer a guarantee that business will materialize, but it brings producers closer, more consistently to the market.
The debate ended with the presentation of the funding perspectives, through the future EU applied research program, Horizon Europe. The guidelines of the program and the thematic areas for which calls will be organized, starting with 2021, were presented.