"Unbelievable Response" from Slovenes: saved 15 tonnes of organic apples


We were surprised by people's response, we are grateful. Thus, campaign volunteers help the farmer. The organic apples produced by the Jelčič family lasted only a few days. The construction of a community that wants to support organic farming continues to contribute to the preservation of Slovenian rural areas and allows customers to purchase more favorable purchases of quality products.

The Jelcic family is impressed by the response. They point out that in their work they are left to the mercy of nature, which sometimes, and often takes a huge amount. Last year's harvest was the first abundance after the crop suffered natural disasters for several years in a row. Successful sales in "good years" allow farmers to survive in "bad times".

After planting apple trees on five hectares of land last year, the Jelcic family remained in the refrigerator shed between 25 and 30 tonnes of first-class organic apples that threatened to collapse. The products, not treated with chemical preparations, also refrigerator only limited shelf life.

To avoid this, volunteers from the Nakupujmo skupaj project, who cooperated with the Jelčič family long ago, entered the campaign. Then came the action Let's help the farmer, that they performed this time for the first time, but they guarantee it for the last time.

The action, which is a group of enthusiasts who emphasize the importance of healthy foods to the general health and well-being of humans, has met a major response from consumers, and the family reports that apples that were still fit for sale quickly found buyers. Some have already taken their orders, some will in the next few days."The response was incredible, it actually surprised us." say campaign co-workers.

Project developers are deplored just because they have not taken action before, as buyers could get even more first-class apples. In order to offer only the best to buyers, Jelčičevi in ​​recent days has been a good reader of apples, only those who really belong to the first class of quality were put on sale. Among these there were apples 15 tons. Five tons of healthy, good quality apples were no longer in line with the first class quality, they were processing, the rest proved that the fruits were no longer suitable for sale or processing.

Market to order

If the campaign started a month earlier, more fruits could be sold, he says. Uros Bric, a leading contributor to the project, We will help the farmer and umbrella initiatives Let's buy together and care, but of course, experience is an excellent opportunity to learn how similar initiatives can be implemented in the future.

The group's goal remains to build a community that would connect organic food producers and premium customers – without redundant intermediaries. This would also reduce the need for action, since a regular producer-to-consumer chain would be established.

The Buying Together Project is a kind of "ordering market," where buyers pre-order eco-friendly and local products at reduced prices and, on the other hand, because of pre-orders, farmers know exactly what to bring to market. "A winning formula for everyone" emphasizes Bric.

The main advantage of this approach is therefore for farmers, which is undoubtedly that, unlike classic market sales from the field or warehouse, they produce only the same crop as the one sold. This reduces the possibility that they will have to discard even unsold ones.

Some providers also try to plan, in cooperation with regular buyers, what and how much they will grow in their fields or greenhouses at a given season – giving customers a pre-defined message about how much of a particular crop they want in a given time.

For the time being, 40 Slovenian farms are involved in the project.PHOTO: Facebook

Organic food is more expensive. But it does not have to be an "astronomical dear"

For customers, the main advantage is a lower price. The fact is that organic foods are more expensive. Not only because the organic product is smaller and the producer still has to survive.

The main reason for the higher price is the way of working, which, in contrast to intensive production, where weeds, "diseases" and pests "take care" of sprays, means preparation so different from the soil and different care for the plants. The preparations allowed in organic farming, in contrast to "real sprays", work only for a short time, but also have a worse effect. Below the line – work is much more, and this usually requires quest for additional strength.

On the other hand, the buyer. Those who see fruits or vegetables at a nearby discount store, which cost only a few cents a pound. "You need to know that there is a huge difference between the product in these stores and the product offered by the farmers with whom we cooperate. The products offered by farmers are ecologically and carefully cultivated, so prices are not comparable to store prices classic. "emphasizes Bric.

On the other hand, they understand that the amount a Slovenian average person can devote to food is often modest. "The fact is that wages in the last decade have not increased as much as the prices of many types of fruits and vegetables"says Bric.

The price increase is mainly attributed to the fact that the crop has also increased considerably, but it explains that both the farmer and the buyer are both in difficulty, but little consumer aid in planning a family budget. Therefore, they try to keep the prices of organic products at an affordable level with the project. This is possible by shortening the producer-to-buyer chain where there are no intermediaries, since they are local products and products where there are no large transport, storage costs … because producers have guaranteed sales and therefore a monthly income, but also easier to offer a lower price.

"For a pound of organic apples we deducted 2.5 euros in the classic ecological market and 1.4 euros in our country"The situation is illustrated by Bric.

For the time being, 40 Slovenian farms are involved in the project, and there are already a few hundred regular customers. Buyers place their orders online and the vintages are available every week. They are taken to the collection point, which is currently at the Old Market in Šiška in Ljubljana. Bric announces that new acquisition sites will be available elsewhere in Slovenia over time.

The product offering is extended to all farms that join the project, and currently they have everything from dairy to various types of oil and fruits and vegetables.

The circle of producers involved is growing as they discover that cooperation allows them a new way of accessing customers. The question of how to sell directly to the buyer is as simple as possible for many farmers. The shorter chain is of great interest. Not only because it allows sales without an intermediary, as they explain, it is mostly the quality they can offer – and this is certainly greater if it takes a few hours or days instead of a few weeks from the field to the plate.


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