The association is a partnership of families from Ciumani, Harghita County with the aim of supporting and enhancing the living of small families.
The existence of local small farmers, who produce manually their products, is specific for Harghita county. All their products reflect the traditional taste and quality. The selling of their products is based on different regulations, which are too hard to fulfil and also expensive. Usually these small producers are local families, who cannot afford the products` authorization costs. Taking into consideration the difficulties encountered by small local producers, listed above, in 2011, nine families from Ciumani, Harghita county gathered into a partnership and started the Association Fenyőalja Egyesület. The association form helped them to apply for project calls, within they get financial support to create community kitchen approved in accordance with public health rules. They also achieved to get the authorization of the products. All the steps of the production are fullfilled by them, and their products includes marmalades, syrups and vegetable creams, such as eggplant creams and a local specialty called “zakuszka.
Their partnership is unique in the county, it helps the partners to sell their products, facilitates the production by dividing the production costs between the partners.
They are regularly attending local, national and international fairs, in order to promote and sell their products.
Nowadays the association ensures the daily living of nine families. The yearly production consist of thousands kilos and litres of final products.
Own fund (2011-2020): 24.800 Euros
The Association Fenyőalja Egyesület does not have employees, all the activities, starting from production through management are fulfilled by the families of the partnership.
Evidence of success
Due to the increase of the production within the partnership these local producers yearly attend, individually or jointly, at least 100 fairs. They are present at 10 different international fairs too, such as the Szekler Product Fair organized in Budapest (HU) or the GóbéFest organized in Manchester (UK).
At present the association owns a well appreciated national and international recognition/reputation through their high quality products.
The most difficult aspect of starting the association was to overcome the local farmers belief about partnerships. We can say it was a challenge to convince them about the importance of the partnership.
Potential for learning or transfer
This local level good practice could be a good example for other regions/countries local producers to learn from. The importance of it consists in the partnership between local producers, who established an association in order to ensure the potencial of increasing production and presence at the market. We can highlight that the recognition of the advantages, which hides in this cooperations helped them to keep focusing on their aim despite of the difficulties.