Civitas Foundation came in support of forest fruit producers through a project that aims to establish the first cooperative in this area in Cluj County, and its development.
The project is called suggestively “Establishment and development of a cooperative of forest fruit producers on the territory of the Somes Transylvanian LAG Association”. Subsequently, the established cooperative was named “Aroma Transilvane”. This initiative aims at better integration of farmers in the agri-food chain, increasing the added value of agricultural products, promoting them in local markets and short supply circuits. This is the first agricultural cooperative of forest fruit producers established on the area of Cluj County. The founding of the association comes at the initiative of the Civitas Foundation and its 9 founding members, which cultivate and process a wide range of forest fruits such as blackcurrant and redcurrants, raspberries, blackberries, etc. The members of the cooperative come from the villages and communes of Lujerdiu, Sic, Borşa, and Vişea.
The associates aim to provide consumers with fruit from their own crops, as well as fruit syrups or jams from forest fruits. Another goal is to support small and medium-sized producers and to encourage new farmers to focus on the production of forest fruits.
Prior to the association, the nine founding members encountered problems such as increasing shortage of workforce, the possibility of finding a sales outlet. The main reason was the small amount of fruit obtained by each producer, but also the large quantities of fruit imported from abroad. Through this associative form the cooperative will try to solve these problems by centralizing the fruit varieties cultivated by its members and facilitating the creation of fixed and mobile points of sale for the products, first in Cluj-Napoca.