Portrait of FoodHub – Geaprodukt/Procontus
The small and medium enterprise (SME) project partner Geaprodukt has a 12% share in the distribution of vegetables and fruit in Slovenia. The FOODMETRES project was an opportunity to start, with a second SME partner Pro Contus, the transformation of their business plan towards an Agropark Food Hub for local vegetable and fruit producers. The main goal is to increase the supply of local products via the establishment of direct producer-customer relationships. The demand for vegetables and fruit produced locally in Slovenia is high. Local products reach higher market prices. However, more work is required by the company to gather large quantities of demanded products in such a small market. Geaprodukt offers local producers (farmers) a market space for free where they can sell their products directly to customers. Afterwards they can sell any remaining leftovers of good quality to Geaprodukt. There is a win-win situation: producers sell products at the best price avoiding unnecessary waste of food due to unsold products and Geaprodukt gets locally produced products which can be sold at a better price to the companies’ customers. Their business plan also includes buying surpluses in vegetable production from smallholders like home or allotment gardeners. The new business plan is currently in a start-up phase and is time and labour demanding, however it brings satisfaction to the company through enhancing its social responsibility to Slovenian producers. Additionally, long-term cooperation established with domestic producers is contributing to the development of the local area.