The Flemish Centre for Agri- and Fishery Marketing (VLAM) and Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) organised an acquaintance meeting with Romania on behalf of Belgian auction houses and Belgian exporters in the beginning of October. During the contact day information was provided on Romania as an up and coming market with export opportunities for Flemish horticultural products, according to REO Actueel.
Short growing season
Romania is seven times the size of Belgium and has 21.5 million inhabitants. The continental climate with warm summers and severe winters cause the growing season to be short. From the beginning of May till the end of September is harvest time, of which during the first and the last month mainly in glasshouses. In Romania tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, onions and carrots are grown. Furthermore the country also has small scale agriculture and horticulture with very many producers trying to sell their vegetables. In Romania there are hardly any grower associations with members making their products ready for the market in a uniform packing or with the same quality. This is a big problem for Romanian supermarkets, which also need organisations of traders capable of supplying sufficiently large volumes. In Romania there are a lot of supermarkets. Various retailers have spoken about the planned increase in the number of their branches in the near future. Today Lidl have 144 shops in Romania and it is said that this will double within three years.
These factors confirm that there is a good potential in the Romanian market for selling Flemish products. Unfortunately Romania is 2,000 km away from Belgium and this great distance is a difficult obstacle for the export of day-fresh products. On the other hand Dutch product is present in Romanian supermarkets, but in limited quantities. On the Romanian shop shelves next to local products mainly Polish, Hungarian, Turkish and German products are to be found.
Source: REO Actueel