CoopNet is a network that supports association and collaboration between Romanian farmers – the purpose is to prepare specialists to run agricultural cooperatives in a sustainable way.
During the past two years, CoopNet has increased significantly – the number of members increased by over 60%, representatives from NGOs, Action Local Groups and Agricultural Cooperatives joined the network. During all this time, 16 agricultural cooperatives have been created and supported. Izvorul Fizeșului, Arome Transilvane, Cramele Crișana or Legume de Probota are just a few of the cooperatives that appeared during this period with the support of the CoopNet.
We have organized meetings to discuss the challenging of the association extends, focusing on the organizational structures, best practices, development opportunities, and specific legislation. Regarding the lobby activities, we have had an important role in the legislation part which regulates the organization and operation of agricultural cooperatives.
For the next period, CoopNet will focus on the education and increasing the leaders community for the existing agricultural cooperatives. Our experience has shown it needs two or three years to a cooperative to become functional (it is necessary to pass through various stages of development). The network plans to grow the community through mentoring sessions, international study visits, an MBA for the executives, research activities and advocacy. Organizing events with different stakeholders (commercial partners, local authorities, cooperatives members) are on our priority list.