Romania to supply fruit and vegetables to Norway, Ukraine and Russia

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Under a EUR 3 million program referred to the European Commission, which includes information and promotion actions for Romanian fruit and vegetables, local growers will be able to export their fresh or canned produce to countries like Norway, Ukraine and Russia; the program was approved mid-November.

The project, implemented in collaboration with Greece, spans three years and will be 50 pct co-financed by the European Union.
“The program includes participation in fairs, product tasting sessions, promotion sites, but mainly talks with retail chains in the concerned countries with a view to supplying fresh or processed products starting January 1, 2010.

So far, Romania was exporting only 5 pct of the 200,000 tons of vegetables and fruit produced locally, but in three years we estimate that deliveries to other countries will reach 40 pct – 50 pct of the domestic production,” said Aurel Tanase, president of the Romconserv employers organization, the program’s initiator that includes 30 member companies with aggregate business of EUR 200 million.

The companies to receive EU subsidies include canneries Raureni and Fravil located in Ramnicu Valcea; Conserv Buftea; MIB Prodcom sited in Cluj-Napoca; the Bucharest-based Mandi Company. Of the project’s total value of roughly 3 million euros, Romconserv members will contribute 900,000 euros, the Greek partners – 600,000 euros, and the EU will cover the rest.

“The Greeks chose Argentina to promote their products and we chose Norway, Ukraine and Russia. Norway is an expensive country that prefers European processed products; the Norwegians are big consumers of tomato paste, pickles, mixed vegetable stews, jams and honey. Until now, we were not exporting canned agri-products to Norway and fresh vegetable supplies were just scant, “ said Tanase cited by daily Ziarul financiar.

“We will promote in Russia the Topoloveni-made plum jam; this is where we have the best support. Ukraine’s production capacity does not match its processing capacity, so that we’ll fill the gap with peeled tomatoes, for example,” Tanase explained the Romanian producers’ promotion strategy.

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