Six FRIDGE project regions met in Szekszárd, Hungary in early September to start working together on improving public policies to enhance SME competitiveness in the food sector.

The partnership was welcomed to Szekszárd by Mr. József Ribányi, Vice-President of the Tolna County Council and President of the Hungarian delegation to the Committee of Regions. In his welcoming speech Mr. Ribányi addressed two most important issues for SME's success in food industry: "Firstly, you need a good product and secondly, successful marketing." 

During the first meeting day several topics were discussed in workshops by the partners in order to identify the main issues and possible solutions for better market reach and productivity of food industry SMEs. The Kick-Off also set the path for the next six months of co-operation.

On the second day three Hungarian actions were presented to the partnership in order to identify valuable experiences and practices. The good practices demonstrated the operation of social cooperatives as well as introduced selected calls from ERDF-funded Operational Programs in Hungary.

The participants also familiarized themselves with the local wine sector at the Fritz Winery where they were guided through the steps of the wine making process as well as some insights were given on market reach, investments in production capacities and technologies.

The next inter-regional project meeting will be hosted by the Economic Council of East-Flanders in Belgium, in Spring 2020.