Capacity Building Training Workshop: from Emilia-Romagna Region to Romania

The objective of the two-days visit of the Romanian delegation in Bologna is the application of the software platform to manage CAP fruit and vegetable market withdrawals

On 18-19 October 2023, the Lowinfood partner Emilia-Romagna Region, in collaboration with the University of Bologna, organised a capacity-building training workshop in Bologna and Parma, to disseminate in Europe an innovative model already successfully implemented and in continuous evolution.

A delegation from Romania spent two days in Italy, with the objective of sharing their experience and learning from Emilia-Romagna about the development and use of the S.I.R: this web application allows to digitalize the whole procedure of market withdrawals of fresh fruit and vegetable surplus. In compliance with EU regulation 1308/13, the products collected through the measure “withdrawals from the market” are destined to other uses: in Emilia-Romagna, a large majority of them are distributed to charities, which is considered extremely avant-garde in the European scenario.

During the workshop, participants were shown in detail how the S.I.R. platform works and had the chance to attend field demonstrations of the whole process, in view of its possible application in Romania, with the hope that it could become a case study to be replicated in other countries in the next future.

Day 1 – Bologna – Wednesday 18th

The first day of the capacity building workshop was divided into two parts: during the morning session, the Romanian delegation was welcomed first. It was composed of Professor Christian Popescu, a representant from the National University of Science and Technology Polithecnica University in Bucarest; Iuliana Oprescu, manager of the Valea Topologului Agricultural Cooperative, and Dumitra Sima, representative of Salvati Copiii (Save the Children Romania).

Then, the virtuous cycle of market withdrawals of fruit and vegetable surplus in favor of charities coordinated by Emilia-Romagna Region was explained: the S.I.R (Sistema Informatico Ritiri) web application allowed to increase up to 90% the amount of products distributed for free to charities over the total fruit and vegetables withdrawals.


On the other hand, professor Popescu explained how the market withdrawal system work in Romania, with figures and product variety, and then each player in the process (Region, Producer Organizations, charities, the agro-food centres that provide important logistic support through their facilities and their expertise) had the chance to share the benefits of this system from their point of view.  They all agreed on how the complete digitalization helped to provide more and more low-income families with fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet.

The Romanian delegation (left) and the SIR live demo (right)

The afternoon session was dedicated to a live demo of the SIR platform: the Romanian delegation had the opportunity to practically test the program, each one with their specific user profile (authority, producer organization and charity, which is the beneficiary of the process).

Day 2 – Bologna – Thursday 19th

The second day of the event had a more practical approach with the visit to Parma: every Thursday morning, a large amount of fresh products are delivered from Producer Organizations to the agro-food centre Cal, while the early afternoon is the moment of fruit and vegetables distribution to different charities logged in the system based in Parma area.

Delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables in Cal Parma destined to charities

The Romanian delegation and the project partners received a warm welcome from the President of Cal Marco Core, the Director Giulietta Magagnoli and the staff who led the visit and explained how the agro-food centre works and how the sympathetic logistic project not only perfectly fits in their workflow (since during the day no operations are going on), but wants to become a reference model for other agro-food centres in Emilia-Romagna and in other regions.

Operations carried by regional officers during the delivery of fruit and vegetables for free distibution

At the end of the two days of the capacity building worskshop, Emilia-Romagna region and Romanian partners agreed on implementing the SIR application in their system with a detailed work plan and periodic follow-up meetings.

Professor Popescu and his colleagues on the one hand, Emilia-Romagna and University of Bologna representants on the other were both satisfied with this fruitful, useful and exciting opportunity that they hope could soon bring tangible results.

Click to dowload the complete program of the workshop (pdf201.95 KB).

Group picture during the visit to Cal Parma

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last modified 2023-11-15T16:43:28+02:00
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