Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre (LRATC) consists of 26 regional structures covering all rural areas of Latvia. One of LRATC regional development programs „Support program for local agricultural producers and home producers” includes group and individual trainings, experience exchange trips and essentials of cooperation principles. These activities have resulted as 13 established NGO’s and cooperatives of local and home producers in last few years.
One of the most important and successful activities for local producers was „Riga Food 2016”.
The biggest in the Baltics food industry fair “Riga Food” yearly outlines the trends of the food industry development, highlights novelties and presents a number of serious and trustable enterprises. Everybody is welcome to draw inspiration from diversity of menu ideas, to taste new products, to watch and enjoy professional chef, pastry cook and bartender competitions. Moreover, many professionals are invited to “Riga Food” to derive ideas, knowledge and information allowing further professional and business development. Implementing the support program for local producers LRATC provided chance for about 150 small producers to participate in this fair (including individual producers and agri-food cooperatives).
There is great awareness and reputation about these producers after the participating in the fair, that’s why we believe that we have to continue this work further. During the “Riga Food 2016” we organized the competition among producers “National Taste”. Local producers were judged by visitors and jury. The best local producers obtained the opportunity to take part in international food, agricultural and gardening fair „Green Week 2017” in Germany, Berlin.
In order to promote cooperation, support program for local producers was improved by establishment of regional interest groups. Guidelines for this activity provides to bring together the same producers at least three times a year. These groups will be organized to purposefully educate small local producers about effective production, marketing issues, technological solutions as well as cooperation issues. We expect that boundless added value of these meetings will be increase of mutual trust between local producers, which will encourage them to cooperate more.