Foodshift Roundtable and Showcase in Brașov

Between the 6th and the 8th of September, FAL Brașov had the chance to host the FoodSHIFT2030 partners and invite them to take part in the FAL Brașov experience! Autumn came earlier in the mountain city, but with a bit a luck, weather was sunny and warm during the field trips where we learnt about the Brașov city-region food system and met the innovators.

Day 1 started with a short introduction about the city-region’s food production capacity and trends, to ensure a common understanding of the local food system and to provide the needs assessment for the food strategy, which is one of the most important goals of FAL Brașov.

The main challenges that Brașov city region faces in relation to its food system are:

• Integrating small producers in the food system, professionalisation and aggregation.
• Promoting local gastronomy and local menus.
• Encourage and strengthen rural-urban linkages and cohesion.

Part of these challenges is tackled by the first two innovators that were introduced.

  • Mihaela Frățilă, expert on public procurement. Mihaela worked on integrating local producers in the local public procurement for the ‘meal in school’ program and assembled a list of recommendation for the national authorities that manage this program.
  • ‘Ținutul Bârsei’ Local Action Group that will organise a course for the professionalisation of the small producer, for a better integration in the local food system.

The second half of the day was spent in the Măgura village, part of the National Park Piatra Craiului, where the participants visited a local household and learned about the difficulties that small producers from mountain areas face, while tasting local cheese, donuts and țuică. Lunch was served as Villa Hermani, a certified ecotourism pension that represents a good practice example of a business in a mountain area that integrates local producers.

The day ended with a visit to Bran Castle where the participants tasted a re-interpretation of traditional kneaded cheese (‘brânză de burduf’) prepared by Chef Dana Graură, with whom FAL Brașov is collaborating for creating the local menus scheme.

Day 2 started with a trip to the city’s biggest vegetables and fruit market, Dacia Market,  where we met and discussed with the director of the Administration of Public Markets of Brasov Municipality, Mr Ladariu Adrian,  and producers, after which we visited the Star market, the place intended to become a food hub, where the SolBun Cooperative is meeting with consumers every Wednesday and Saturday.

SolBun Coop is one of the innovators, which aggregates vegetables and dairy local producers in a marketing cooperative.

The last innovation presented was Chef Mădălina Roman work. Chef Mădălina tells us from her experience how we can reduce food waste in restaurants by going back to our roots and grandparents’ practices in this video.

The day continued with the session dedicated for project work: clarifying work packages inputs and timelines, as well as toolkits that will come.

All participants were invited to the Consortium Dinner, which took place at CATTIA and was prepared with local products by Chef Bogdan Cozma and his team.

Last day of the FAL Brașov experience started with an ambitious workshop on local food governance that reunited local stakeholders (public administration and authorities, local businesses, local researchers), as well as FoodSHIFT2030 partners.

FAL Brașov experience ended with a visit at ‘HOF Hărman‘ local gastronomical point. We visited the household, including the two gardens, and then had the delicious plant-based lunch prepared by Ioana and Corina.

  • The local gastronomical point is a small family-run touristic farm, offering food prepared from ingredients that can be found in the family`s or neighbors` gardens and prepared after local recipes and techniques.

FAL Brașov experience immersed the participants in the local gastronomy and tastes and in the daily lives of local producers working in mountain regions, making the participants aware of the challenges that these producers face daily, as well as the need for local cooperation and prioritization of a sustainable local food system.