The first pillar is heavily related itself to people’s access to the specific knowledge, which is critical. Small entrepreneurs would like to develop, but they lack the knowledge of the process: what should they do in the first instance, what kind of information should they access, where to start from. Because knowledge is critical, my view on the regional collecting centers around the Wholesale market is to provide citizens with an info point that gives them the basic guide of the steps towards accessing funds. It all should start with a kick, a small point where they can find the basic info, structured in steps and clearly stated.
Added value is critical
The wholesale market is at a strategic crossroad between rural offer and urban needs and also between suppliers of fresh food of any kind and its smaller or bigger retail clients. The wholesale market supplies the smaller/local retailers as well as the biggest international retail chains for which it will also develop in the future a specific service: personalized offer, customized serving in the delivery of fruits, vegetables, etc. This service of added value is key in the biggest wholesale markets of the world that I visited, as it manages to be more than just a providing point for the clients. In today’s retail, added value is critical, and I believe Piata de Gros Berceni will soon provide this kind of service for the retailers operating in Romania also.
One critical measure that will change dramatically the quality of life and people access to good living would be the fiscal support of a lowered VAT for food. A VAT of at most 10% is vital. Other European countries practice also a differentiation in the fiscal burden applied to food and Romania should take this key example.
Embracing the perfect business model
I visited the most important wholesale markets in Europe and I believe they have just the perfect business model. I refer especially to Mercabarna in Barcelone that is a perfect self-sustainable of complete value chain kind of business. It is true that it had more than 40 years ahead us to grow in a country with highly developed infrastructure and comparison cannot be made. The business model is basically relying on the total control of the entire value chain, from import, logistics to the final added value delivery and even own recycling facilities. A whole ecosystem that supports a solid business and provides the half of Europe with fresh fruits and vegetables and not only. The opportunities for Romania to replicate such a model - provided it has the patience to build – are huge, especially in the area of ecological agriculture, where Romania has more potential than most of the European countries.
Data about the Abundia
Area: 12,000 sqm
3 halls ( plus one hall that sees ongoing refurbishment)
5 cells from ripening bananas
120 selling stands ( 40 stands for a hall)
8 cooling deposits