Organic agriculture is a constantly growing sector in the EU and globally. It produces high quality products and provides numerous other public benefits, especially those in the area of environment, management of natural resources and viability of rural areas. Implementation of local development models based on development of endogenous resources, will allow the local communities to keep in the area the economic value of their production with the strong impulse at changing from traditional cultivation to organic. The production of organic products is supported by the European Union and the countries as a measure that can help in prevailing population in the region, in the creation of new job places and in improving the competitiveness of the cross border area. Local organic products can find their “economic place” which will enable them to survive in the market and to be re-evaluated, due to the fact that there is an evolving demand for more genuine products, produced in an environmentally friendly manner. The project aims at realizing an important aspect for local communities such as the straggle against the negative consequences of the traditional, competitive and cost effective cultivations. Through support to farmers, in order to improve their trading practices and produce local and quality products, with the most limited environment negative impacts, local communities will have real reimbursable benefits. The branding scheme will be developed through the establishment of a cross-border partnership and relevant networking for the promotion of organic agriculture and sustainable development in the region and the improvement of trading practices of organic products, thus triggering economic activities that will lead to economic and social prosperity of the region. The project will result in the formulation of a strong physical and virtual network activated at both local and interregional level covering a great part of the cross border area for the promotion and diffusion of innovative knowledge, to safeguard organic business actors competitiveness within the global context by improving their trading capacity, the establishment of a commonly applicable strategy and branding scheme for the promotion of innovation in the areas of quality, assurance and marketing for organic agricultural products of the cross border area. The project will improve local organic business actors management skills and overall efficiency in all activities related to quality assurance and product trading. The networking and interaction with the technical and academic experts of the partnership will enable access to innovative knowledge on trading methods. The establishment and adoption of the common branding scheme will enable the farmers to achieve competitive advantage, improve quality of services and products and gain access to new markets.
Τhe Action 2 of the third Working Package of the project entitled “Singling out the local products of the cross border area” contributes to the establishment of a cross-border partnership for the promotion of organic agriculture and sustainable development, through the description of the main features of the regional organic products sector and by proposing the expansion of existing organic products and/or the development of products that could be potentially certified as organic. The state-of-the-art in the production of organic raw material and manufacturing is identified and described for the entire cross-border region as well as for each Prefecture that comprises the study area. In order to provide tangible recommendations regarding the improvement of the production and marketing of existing and potential organic products for each region of the study area, specific criteria are developed. The criteria that were selected include, in summary, the prevailing soil and climate conditions, the market demand and the potential formulation of markets, the traditional characteristics of the products, the existing infrastructure and the existing know-how for the production of organic products.