Even more Romanian, fresh products available in over 80 Carrefour stores in the Central and Western region of the country
Carrefour Romania increases its offer of fresh local products in its stores located in the Central and Western parts of the country, with fresh vegetables, greens and fruits, harvested in the Zarand area. The extended local range is available as a result of the long-term commercial partnership signed between Carrefour and “Grădinile Noastre din Zarand” (Our Zarand Gardens) Cooperative, from Arad County, through which the retailer commits to take over the production of the cooperative. At the same time, the retailer provides support to all member farmers for production planning and also understanding and navigating the legal framework, in order to provide the agricultural cooperative with the necessary resources for carrying out its activity in a sustainable way.
“Carrefour is an ally for the Romanian farmers. We tried to give and example and to actively take part in the creation of a new working model along with the producers, being the first retailer to found an agricultural cooperative in Vărăști, Giurgiu. The experience was very positive on both sides. We continue to support the association of farmers in cooperatives, which can play a major role in economic development and in ensuring food security. We are, at the same time, an ally for consumers, to whom we offer healthy, local, clean products. None of this is accidental – on the contrary, we continue our strategy to support local farmers and healthy products, as part of our global Act for Food commitment”, said Julien Munch, CEO of Carrefour Romania (photo R).
Through its internal packaging, delivery and storage infrastructure, the cooperative covers the need for fresh seasonal vegetables in the Carrefour network in Central and Western Romania and offers a fast distribution model, ensuring the delivery of products directly in stores within a maximum of 24 hours from their collection. Thus, the support provided by the retailer for organizing and planning production at optimal levels ensures a constant, self-sustained flow and eliminates waste, most often caused by a lack of demand or an incorrect forecast on the market.
The “Grădinile Noastre din Zarand” Cooperative has seven founding members, small producers from Arad County (Jurj Romeo Marius, Varga Mihai Aurel, Trînc Beniamin, Șeran Paul, Flueraș Cătălin, Breaz Bianca, Farcaș Alexandru), farmer families and traditional vegetable growers from the region, managing several hectares of land. The Zarand cooperative covers a broader vegetable growing area, including several communes such as Zărand, Olari, Seleuș, Pâncota, Chereluș, Tomnatec, Teremia Mare, Ciocaia, Ghiorac. A variety of vegetables and greens are currently grown here, in line with the characteristics of the area: eggplant, white bell pepper, red California pepper, hot pepper, round pink tomato, monterosa tomato, red kapia pepper, sweet pepper, salad, cornichon cucumber, green onion, lovage, dill, parsley, pumpkin for pies, courgette, kohlrabi, root vegetables, as well as golden apples.
Part of these seasonal products are now available on the shelves of Carrefour stores in all three formats: Hypermarket, Market and Express Market in cities in the Central and Western parts of the country. In the future, with Carrefour’s support, the Zarand Cooperative will be able to expand both its product range and the number of its members.
“We are happy that the products from our agricultural cooperative are now available in Carrefour stores, so that more and more Romanians can enjoy the taste of our vegetables, greens and fruits, traditionally cultivated in the Zarand area. This partnership offers us access to a much wider market, and, just as importantly, we receive support for the production planning in order to calibrate it according to the demand and other important considerations. We are sure that this is just the beginning of a very good collaboration with Carrefour that offers a broad range of benefits not only for the involved parties, but for all the Romanian consumers”, added Jurj Romeo Marius, President of the “Grădinile Noastre din Zarand” Cooperative.
The cooperative in Zarand is the second directly supported by Carrefour Romania. The company was the first retailer to found in 2017 an agricultural cooperative in Vărăști, Giurgiu, a unique initiative on the local market. In its first 3 years of activity, the cooperative produced 16,050 tons of vegetables and increased its number of members, from 4 families to over 130. In certain parts of the season, up to 100% of the needs of vegetables and greens in the Carrefour network is provided by the Vărăști partners, with small variations depending on the type of product and region. In addition, the products provided by the cooperative reach the Carrefour shelves in Bucharest in no more than 12 hours and in the rest of the country, in maximum 24 hours, which guarantees their freshness.
Supporting cooperatives and partnerships with local producers are part of the global Act for Food strategy, through which Carrefour promotes the transition to healthy eating. In this sense, Carrefour Romania collaborates with over 1,000 local producers on the fresh products segment and, in addition, runs programs to support small and large Romanian producers, at the same time offering its customers a wide range of healthy products in its stores – local, organic or with clean origins. These programs include Creștem România BIO (We Grow Romania BIO), which supports farmers to convert to organic farming and Deschidem Vinul Românesc (We Open the Romanian Wine), promoting Romanian wines, including the wines produced by small and medium wineries. In addition, last year, Carrefour Romania eliminated 100 controversial additives from all its private label products, marking another step towards food transition.