For the first time in Romania, this week, Carrefour Romania has launched the Carrefour Varasti Agricultural Cooperative, the first one of this kind founded together with a retailer. 4 local producers are involved in the project, together with Carrefour. Located at less than 30 km from Bucharest, in the Varasti commune, Giurgiu County, the cooperative has 60 hectares of land (of which 15 hectares of solariums), aiming to annually produce 5,000 tons of vegetables, such as: tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, zucchini, beans, eggplant, cabbage, celery, onion, garlic, dill, parsley, lovage, spinach, wild garlic, nettles, radishes, onions, green garlic, sorrel.
The project brings closer to customers the Romanian farmers with high quality products, providing them with the opportunity to access a sustainable marketplace. Thus, Carrefour Romania contributes in medium and long term to developing Romanian farmers and their communities.
The cooperative collects the vegetables from 80 families of farmers in the Varasti area. “We developed this project with the desire to be a sustainable partner for the local farmers and a supplier of quality products for our customers. We chose Varasti because of the vegetable basin well-known in the area for the quality of its products, as well as for the old experience of the farmers who work there. We want small family businesses to continue developing and keeping the tradition and concern for crops” stated Jean-Baptiste Dernoncourt, CEO at Carrefour Romania, in a press conference.
In order for the vegetables and herb products in the Cooperative to reach consumers in the shortest time, Carrefour has built a warehouse of 300 sqm in Varasti, and the farmers may store them in there. From here, vegetables are transported to the central warehouse and then they are distributed to the Carrefour stores across the country. Besides, Carrefour provide farmers with plastic crates which are pliable and returnable, so they will not have to buy wooden or cardboard crates anymore. Also, the price labels on the shelves will be marked with the area of origin, so customers will be an active part of the supply chain, directly supporting Carrefour Varasti Agricultural Cooperative by purchasing products.
“One of the biggest current challenges for the Romanian farmers is the lack of logistics, organization and marketplace to take the production in 100 percent. Carrefour Varasti Agricultural Cooperative is the answer to this problem, since it allows us to focus on yield, productivity and product quality, namely on what we do best. Carrefour takes care of the rest. I wish our example to be followed also by other farmers in other areas of the country” stated Costel Buturuga, founder of Carrefour Varasti Agricultural Cooperative.