The project focused on local food market formation through marketing environmentally safe (green) products made by private farms for people who care about their health and think about as they consumed foodstuffs. The aim of the project is to link consumers and producers of environmentally safe products. The main initiators of the project were consumers – a young Minsk family that started with satisfying their own needs for environmentally safe products. After studying foreign experience, initiators of the project started its implementation. They began collecting all necessary information to choose suppliers. The project started in 2012, and represents the pioneer initiative in the area of organic food marketing in Minsk region of Belarus.
The lack of clear regulations regarding ecological food, forced to develop their own ones: so, a farmer who is involved in agriculture, should not use chemicals to protect products - herbicides, pesticides and inorganic fertilizers; those involved in animal husbandry should not use feed, at least purchased from outside the farm. All these regulations, however, closely refer to and correlate with organic agriculture practice performed in European countries. Now the project is cooperating with 15 farmers, and is actively searching for new suppliers. The customers: consumers of environmentally friendly products are most often young families with small children who are primarily interested in high-quality food products that are needed for harmonious growth and development of children. Recently, however, more and more people of older generations become project clients. People with health problems, such as allergies to pesticides, are also among the customers of the project.
Customers, who are mostly people with small children, were found through social networks and Internet, as well as by the means of the so-called “word of mouth” advertising. Managers collect orders through online web-site and then organize delivery. In Belarus both customers and environmentally friendly agricultural producers are not widely spread, and now delivery is only once a week.
Impact of Solution:
The project implementation results in thousands of Minsk residents receiving environmentally friendly products every week. The basic principle of the project is openness. The project provides details about the farmers that offer products. Each farmer’s webpage contains a story about its activities and products. Farmers, alongside with the organization bear responsibility for quality. In case of no satisfaction with the product, the customer is getting the money back.
Benefits for producers and consumers involved in this local food market:
- Producers operating in the project increase their profit through having direct sales channel for their products, whereas previously they could only sell it through their usual channels, and their products were mixed and blended with the whole mass of products. In this project, they are individualized, products are sold under the name and are green labeled;
- Producers communicate with like-minded people, gain new knowledge, there are certain types of support offered and provided to environmentally friendly producers;
- Consumers get healthy foodstuffs, know conditions of the producer and the technology used to make it. In addition, the products are delivered to the door as it is convenient for families with small children.
Similar initiatives could be implemented in other countries. To succeed it is necessary:
- to have comprehensive development and a link “consumer-producer of green-labeled” products;
- to form an initiative group that would be ready to overcome difficulties of the launch period;
- to determine in what form the project would run, and what tools will be used to promote products (a web site, direct sales, specialized shops, sections in department stores and others);
- to have information support for the project
Initially, the project involved only one family, however, with time as the number of users has been constantly increasing, and the number of farmers and their geography expanded considerably.
US$ 10,000 (a car; means to rent premises, procurement of containers and moderate working capital). Joint efforts resulted in creation of a website - ecaeja.by – major trading facility of the project.
LLC ‘Ecaeja’ 09.2015
Tel: + 375 29 7724412; + 375 29 5162281