“Pick your own (fruits and vegetables)” is an international sales system that has been successfully used in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States since the 1970s. Thanks to Madein.md, this concept has been introduced to Moldova, representing a new sales channel for Moldovan agricultural producers, as well as contributing to the development of agritourism.
The idea of launching the “Pick your own” initiative came as a result of the social campaign “Drumul Fructelor”, which was organized by Madein.md over the past three years. It consisted of a series of visits to local farms and agricultural enterprises in order to familiarize consumers with the main fruit producers in Moldova. These trips gathered groups of 20-30 people who had the opportunity to pick fresh fruits and berries and buy them directly from the producer.
Now, thanks to this newly created platform, everyone has the opportunity to personally visit the local farms, after contacting the available producers to schedule a possible visit. For this purpose, there was created a calendar where the harvest period for each crop is indicated, as well as farmers who are willing to receive visitors on their plantations or groves.
Benefits for farmers:
- the ability to sell fruits and vegetables directly from the plantation, avoiding any transportation costs;
- the possibility of establishing long-term contacts with potential clients or economic agents who want to buy fruits and vegetables in large quantities;
- the opportunity to become more popular amongst local consumers and to increase their customer base;
- the opportunity to integrate elements of agritourism (traditional dishes, accommodation services, various crafts, agricultural work, etc.) in gardens and on plantations (or in their surroundings).
Benefits for consumers:
- the opportunity to relax actively, to spend time in nature with family and friends;
- the ability to collect fresh, Moldovan fruits or vegetables, as well as communicate with the producer and find out how they were grown and processed;
- the opportunity to buy high-quality fruits and vegetables at lower prices than in capital city;
- the opportunity to take part in agritourism-related activities and to learn local traditions.
Besides these benefits, Drumul Fructelor is a great opportunity for children to spend some time in nature, learn how fruits and vegetables are grown and talk to farmers will answer any of their questions. This is a pleasant experience and a great way of spending time in a healthy and pleasant environment.