There is an increasingly broken connection between small farmers and consumers in Romania, especially in the cities. Nonetheless, a strong demand still exists for fresh and authentic local products despite the overwhelming pressure from supermarkets etc.
The ‘Nod Verde’ (Green Knot) project therefore aims to introduce new and innovative ways of connecting small farmers growing vegetables around Cluj-Napoca (the main urban pole of north-west Romania) with urban consumers from the city.
Food from a peaceful ground
The project was initiated by the CIVITAS Foundation, a community development NGO based in Cluj-Napoca which set-out to co-create from scratch a system which allowed local consumers to order and receive by delivery at home a range of local agricultural and artisan food products.
All farmers (currently 50) members of the producer cooperative (Nod Verde S.R.L.) are effectively individual partners in the project, plus 10 food businesses (restaurants and bistros) that were recently enlisted to join the partnership.
Nod Verde is part of a national programme to pilot the concept of Food Hubs – a concept which originates from the US and which is promoted in Romania by the Romanian-American Foundation. The Foundation has – in association with CIVITAS – created a specific enabling environment for adapting this concept to different local contexts in Romania. This process of adaptation has proceeded via partnership, experimentation (to test/validate different approaches to building short food supply chains) and exchange of experience.