The opening seminar of the “Baltic Sea Food” project funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme is held on 19-20 October. The Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia is the lead partner of the project. The aim of the project is to work out a viable business model to help regional food networks in marketing local food products to cafés, restaurants, hotels and rural tourism businesses in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia is represented at the seminar by the Deputy Head of the Trade and Agro-Food Department, Kadi Raudsepp, and Chief Specialist Kerli Nõges. According to Kadi Raudsepp, the “Baltic Sea Food” project offers an excellent opportunity to learn from the experience of other Baltic Sea countries on how local food networks market their products.
Many regional producers in the Baltic Sea countries are small family businesses for whom sales and logistics are time-consuming and expensive, since much of the sales work is done over the phone or in direct contact with the clients. Marketing through big retail chains or wholesale warehouses is difficult for small businesses as their production quantities and stability are not sufficient enough. Compared to major producers, their price levels are also higher. This is why marketing to hotels, restaurants, catering companies, shops and accommodation businesses is also limited for them. The markets for regional small businesses are usually close by, which is why several small businesses have come together to cooperate in food networks in order to jointly market and supply their products to the consumers.
“We hope that as a result of the project and in cooperation with 10 countries, we will have a viable business model and some advice on how local food networks could market their products in a faster, better and more cost-effective way. This in turn means that in the future, when travelling in the Baltic Sea countries, including Estonia, we will hopefully see more local products in the menus of cafés, restaurants, hotels and rural tourism businesses,” Kadi Raudsepp added.
From 1 October 2017 until 30 September 2020, 15 food industry organisations from 10 Baltic Sea countries will cooperate in the “Baltic Sea Food” project funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. In addition to the Ministry of Rural Affairs of Estonia, the non-profit organisation Estonian Rural Tourism and the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce are the project partners from the Estonian side.
Partners of the project are:
- Ministry of Rural Affairs of the Republic of Estonia
- Latvijas lauku tūrisma asociācija "Lauku ceļotājs" (Latvia)
- Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V. (Germany)
- Ystad kommun (Sweden)
- Biedrība "Lauksaimnieku organizāciju sadarbības padome" (Latvia)
- Business Region Esbjerg (Denmark)
- HANEN – næringsorganisasjonen for bygdeturisme, gardsmat og innlandsfiske I Norge (Norway)
- MTÜ Eesti Maaturism (Estonia)
- Eesti Põllumajandus-Kaubanduskoda (Estonia)
- Государственное бюджетное профессиональное образовательное учреждение Псковской области «Псковскийагротехнический колледж» (Russia)
- Государственный комитет Псковской области по экономическому развитию и инвестиционной политике (Russia)
- Lahden ammattikorkeakoulu Oy (Finland)
- Lietuvos kaimo turizmo asociacija (Lithuania)
- Fundacja "Natura Polska" (Poland)
- Smagen af Danmark (Denmark)