From 27th to 28th February in Lodzkie Region the last study visit of the SME Organics project has been held to summarize the first phase of realization. Besides more than 30 guests from Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Romania and Finland, the visit was also attended by many stakeholders from Lodzkie Region and from other parts of Poland: Mr. Tomasz Olejnik and Mrs. Elżbieta Sobiecka (representatives from Lodz University of Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Science), Mr. Michał Płatek (representative of Lodzkie Agricultural Advisory Centre with its office in Bratoszowice), Mrs. Ewa Solarska (represantive of University of Life Sciences in Lublin) and Mr. Andrzej Kołuda (owner of the ecological apiary).

The newest food technologies

The meeting has been opened by plenary session at Lodz University of Technology (Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Science). The representatives from this unit have shown the latest areas of activities in the field of food technology and discussed topics concerned: biotechnology and food science, the usage of ecological sourdough, probiotics used in human nutrition and pro-healthy properties of honey.

Visits in Lodzkie Region

Bifix – Tea for the whole family
After plenary session in Lodz University of Technology, guests could visit factories of the firm Bifix – manufacturer of teas and jams based on natural and ecological resources. The process of making those products and packing has been shown. Moreover, the representatives told a history and mission of their firm. Bifix company specialises in production of fruit tea, herbal tea, as well as presentation of dried fruits and drying technology. Bifix was set up on the initiative of the owners themselves. The company was formed from fruit farm owned by the founder of new enterprise i.e. its President Wojciech Piasecki. Products with Bifix brand name are known from their high quality and reasonable price.

Jantoń – leading Polish beverage producer, based on grape & fruit wine

After Bifix, the next point of journey was small town Dobroń – headquarter of Jantoń company – one of the biggest manufacturer, importer and exporter of wines in Poland. In their portfolio, you will find mulled wine, organic wines, sparkling wines, dessert and fruit wines. Apart from wine products, they are also specialized in the production of ciders, liqueurs and other alcoholic drinks. The factory in Dobron is one of the most modern and largest facilities of this type in Poland. With the newest technology, you can completely control the quality at all stages of production. Moreover, important part of the company is the R&D center, where ideas are implemented.

Uniejów – Thermal Health Resort
The next important step of the visit was Uniejów. The partners learned that thermal water can be used for food purposes. An example of this is the thermal cucumber from Uniejów - the first local product based on geothermal water, giving also a number of possibilities and concepts of use, for example in medicine or in fruit and vegetable processing.

Lodzkie Agricultural Advisory Centre with its office in Bratoszowice
The second day of the visit began at the Lodzkie Agricultural Advisory Centre with its office in Bratoszowice. During the conference, which was opened by Marek Sarwa - Director of the Center, Mr. Sarwa talked about the development of organic farming and its needs: even greater cooperation with scientific centers, modern methods of fertilization, as well as Green Public Procurement.

Wiatrowy Sad – organic vegetable and juice production plant in Kałęczew
As a part of the visit, there was also presented the juice sifter Wiatrowy Sad, a family company that produces fruit juices from its own orchard farm, located near the Lodz Hills Landscape Park in the Mroga River valley in the Dmosin municipality. The juices produced by Wiatrowy Sad are pressed from whole, healthy and natural fruits. They don’t contain any preservatives or water and they have naturally occurring sugars. The offer also includes ecological juices.

Open air museum in Nagawki
The last point of journey was open air museum in Nagawki. Thanks to the EU funds, an important tourist attraction for the Lodzkie Region was created. The guests had the opportunity to taste traditional products.

Project meetings
During the study visit, in addition to plenary sessions and visits to stakeholders from the Lodzkie Region, a meeting of the steering committee and a consortium of the SME Organics project took place. The first phase of the project has been summarized and future project activities have been planned. The most important are: preparation of policy briefs to identify synergies and complementarities between different policy instruments and financing instruments to optimize their joint use at the regional level, which will enable implementation of initiatives included in the Environmental Action Plans in each partner region of SME Organics project.