Today HRH the Prince of Wales met with 15 small-scale artisan food producers, selected by Slow Food from throughout Romania, during a private visit to his cottage in Viscri, Transylvania.
The selected producers were part of a huge survey, carried out in five regions of Romania and involving over 300 farmers, that aimed to identify top-quality food producers. Undertaken by Slow Food, the survey was part of a wider farming initiative launched by the Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania to support artisan producers in creating high-value products and marketing them within Romania and abroad while preserving traditions and bringing direct income to farmers.
During his visit, the Prince of Wales had the chance to discover and taste unique food products from Transylvania, the Danube Delta, Maramures, and Bucovina, while learning from producers about their potentials and problems.
With a countryside largely untouched by modernization and characterized by breathtaking landscapes and the widespread use of traditional farming techniques, Romania has huge potential to offer high-end products both for its internal consumption and to European markets. However, this potential remains largely untapped, and while Romania holds a third of the individual farms in the European Union, the number of smallholder farmers in the country is declining at an unprecedented rate: nine every hour, or almost half a million in just 5 years. The farming initiative was launched precisely to unlock this potential and contribute to the sustainable rural development of the Romanian countryside.
Among the producers who met with the Prince of Wales were the five who have been selected by Slow Food to represent Romania at the upcoming edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, the biggest international event dedicated to artisan food production and small-scale farming, which will take place from September 20-24 in Turin, Italy. These include producers from the Bazna Pig Slow Food Presidium and the Bucegi Mountains Branza de Burduf Slow Food Presidium, as well as a cold-pressed seed oil producer from Transylvania (Luna Solai), a honey cooperative from Salaj county (Valea Barcaului cooperative), and an organic brandy producer from Maramures region (Valentin Valcauan).