On Wednesday, November 22, Kaufland Romania inaugurated the first national program for 100% Romanian pork. The program is developed in partnership with the “Tara Mea” Agricultural Cooperative and with the support of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee and of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The initiative is called The Romanian Shelf (Raftul Romanesc) and it “represents a double premiere for Romania. Firstly, it significantly increases the presence of the Romanian pork on the shelves, and at the same time it provides a real and necessary support to the Romanian farmers” stated Marco Hößl, CEO at Kaufland Romania at a press conference. He revealed that Kaufland Romania will take over pork from more than 50% of the small and medium-sized Romanian farmers. The German retailer will purchase pork from Europe only if the production capacity from our country will be fully consumed. This is also the first program in which a retail company opens a shelf which is 100% dedicated to Romanian products, encouraging their consumption and implicitly the local economy. “The program actually supports the development of the domestic production capacity by supporting small and medium-sized farmers, guaranteeing the full taking over of the quantity to the store network” continued the Kaufland Romania CEO. “The launch of this program is a natural step for what we do. We, at Kaufland, believe that each one of us has a role within the community, a role which we are bound to identify, assume and increase. Only in the last year, we supported more than 200 social projects and we supported over 700,000 beneficiaries. We are among the few who provide local products in a percentage of more than 50%, and our role is to support Romanian producers” he added.
The Romanian Shelf program provides sustainable support for the development of the domestic pork production capacity and answers with a solution to the fact that in Romania, about 60% of the traded pork came from other countries. The initiative is structured on two pillars: the collection of pork from Romanian farmers and the change of the food format of the pigs included in the program into natural food, consisting of fodder coming exclusively from the Romanian agriculture, without soybean, which is essential in order to obtain the traditional taste of the Romanian pork, which has a higher quality than the imported one. “In essence, the program is a long-term cooperation on taking over young pigs for fattening purposes in order to be slaughtered. The (“Tara Mea” – e.n.) Cooperative gathered more than 100 small and medium-sized farmers that deal with growing pigs, to make this program possible. After processing, fresh meat reaches the shelves of the stores in the entire Kaufland network. The objective of the program is to reach over 300,000 pigs delivered annually until 2020, meaning around 18 thousands tones per year” stated Valer Hancas, Corporate Affairs & Communication Manager at Kaufland Romania, at the press conference. Hancas pointed out that the collaboration with the current Romanian pork suppliers will also continue.
When the project reaches maturity, Kaufland Romania will take over 60% of the Romanian pork, an unprecedented volume in retail. The program is being implemented gradually, and today Kaufland Romania already receives deliveries of over 400 pigs/day and increases progressively from one week to the next, and by the end of the year it will double the quantity.
Being present at the press conference, the President of the “Tara Mea” Agricultural Cooperative, Florin Burculescu, said: “We are witnessing a historical moment in which Romanian farmers are all co-operating in one cooperative form, managing to implement a pork sale program in Romania, together with a serious partner. Practically this opens up new horizons for the Romanian pork industry, for the Romanian agriculture, and we can talk about a T0. If in 1989 we had 15 million pigs, in 2000 we had 800,000 pigs and today we have 4 million pigs. With this sales mechanism, where the sale of Romanian pork meat in Romania is guaranteed, I think we can say that the pork industry is restarted in our country”. To meet the demand for consumption on the local market, Romania must at least double the domestic production of pork.
The Chairman of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee, Alexandru Stanescu revealed at the same press conference that a very important law for pig producers will be voted on December 5, namely the Program for the support of pig breeders for reproduction. The legislative initiative belongs to the Committee and to the Minister of Agriculture Petre Daea.
Being present at the conference, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Petre Daea congratulated the “Tara Mea” Cooperative and Kaufland for this initiative. He also pointed out that from his point of view, the launch of the two important programs this year, the Romanian tomatoes program and the Romanian pork program, both of them being items in the government program, is a success in his mission.