Bujor farm

1. Farm profile

 

Bujor family has lived for more than 20 years out of agriculture. In 2014 they managed to convince the major retailers to sell their cucumbers, and after a month also the tomatoes produced on the lands of Dracea, Teleorman country, reached the hypermarkets in the country.
At present, the family owns 20 hectares of land and in addition to the field work, they also manage the production of tomato paste and cans in a factory set up by them.
This is a family business. There are about 11 people involved.

 

2. Multifunctional Farming

 

The problems in the Dracea commune and not only appeared after 2000 when the cannery in Turgu Mugurele was disbanded. Thus, large quantities of vegetables for preservation from the farm of Bujor family could no longer be delivered. The farmers had to urgently redirect to other markets in the area and also further.

The most important help for the members of the family came from European funding. They prepared the projects and they managed to access the necessary funds for developing their business.

They also realized that the vegetables cultivated in the field, compared to those in the foil tunnels, have bigger risks, such as oscillating temperatures, pests, but also thieves.

 

2.1. Situation before Multifunctional Activity

 

The most important help for the members of the family came from European funding. They prepared the projects and they managed to access the necessary funds for developing their business.

 

2.2. Developing the Business Idea

 

Although he had been working in agriculture for 20 years, the farmer had problems in delivering the produced goods. Thus he realised he could not have a profitable activity if he didn‘t find a solution for placing the goods in stores.

The farmer was able to apply this idea when the project „Only for the taste“(pooling of locally produced fresh vegetables under a common label) appeared in several supermarkets. The initiative belongs to the Association of Vegetables Growers, with the support of the professional organization PRODCOM Fruits-Vegetables and the Communication Center of Farmers in Romania.

Thus, he partnered with other producers in order to deliver quality merchandise in the requested quantities.  

 

2.3. Multifunctional Agriculture

 

At present, the family owns 20 hectares of land and in addition to the field work, they also manage the production of tomato paste and cans in a factory set up by them.
The farmer now sells his vegetables in supermarkets, while the tomato paste, which is 100% natural, is sold in small shops in the county, but the business is growing, and the young vegetable grower has serious plans for procurement of modern equipment.

The farmer has a small factory which produces canned tomatoes and vegetables. He hopes to develop it in the future and its products to find their place on the supermarket shelves, as it is currently the case with his vegetables.

The multifunctional agriculture offers farmers the opportunity to increase their income and create added value by extending their activities.

 

2.4. Financing the New Business

 

The most important help for the members of the family came from European funding. They prepared the projects and they managed to access the necessary funds for developing their business.

The program, called "Missing taste" helps small farmers in placing products in supermarkets and is supported by the Group Agricover that provides the operational platform, providing logistical, technical and financial support.

 

2.5. Outcomes of the Business Development

 

Mircea Bujor says that "nature rewards you if you know how to work the land. Growing vegetables means a hard work, but I have a big and safe income ".
He thinks about the future and wants to enter the supermarkets also with broth made in his factory, but he also wants to invest in new equipment.

In this way he provides his entire family a decent income, and also to other temporary employees.

 

3. Skills for Multifunctional Agriculture

 

Mircea Bujor was the beneficiary of the RURAL- Entrepreneur project conducted by the National Foundation of Young Managers - FNTM during June 2010 - May 2012. The project had the overall objective of developing entrepreneurial culture and target group was composed of approx. 2,200 entrepreneurs or future entrepreneurs from rural areas in Romania.

He attended the motivation conference of RURAL Entrepreneur and benefited from consultancy by means of the regional and consultancy office. Also he followed the e-learning course of the project.

 

3.1. Promoter and Staff Competences

 

The farmer has been involved in agriculture since childhood. After graduating from the eighth grade, he quit school and preferred to work with parents in agriculture. Much later he completed high school. Besides, he asked for advice from experts and people with experience and he developed his own knowledge in gardening.
Within the family, 11 persons are constantly involved: his brother, his sons aged 16, 17 and 18 and other relatives. All the three children wish to take over the business in the future.

 

3.2. Access to and Management of Skills and Know-How

 

Mircea Bujor was the beneficiary of the RURAL- Entrepreneur project conducted by the National Foundation of Young Managers – FNTM and has benefited from consultancy by means of the regional and consultancy office. The project had the overall objective of developing entrepreneurial culture. In this context he followed the e-learning course of the project and learned entrepreneurial skills.

At the same time, he sought for information from specialists and persons with experience and he developed his own knowledge and training in growing vegetables.

 

4. Experiences & Recommendations

 

Mircea Bujor has been permanently looking for markets for selling his goods, as the production of vegetables of his family had been increasing from one season to another.  But the buyers and intermediaries were convinced by the quality of products and the constant seriousness in delivering the vegetables. Still, the valorization of products has remained the most important moment. As everywhere in the Romanian agriculture, the production is easier than the sale. The important moment was when the farmer has partnered with other farmers in order to solve the problem of valorizing the vegetable products. Now he sells vegetables in big chains within the country. He has contracts with farms and the payment is made in time and with advance payments.

 

4.1. Implementing the Business Idea

 

Initially, Mircea Bujor would not have wanted to sell in big chains, but in the small markets the prices are not constant. Thus, he realised that the habits of buyers have changed and more and more people are choosing the supermarkets. He understood he had to adapt the production according to the rules of the new intermediary.

There, the vegetables have to respect certain requests imposed by the buyer and for this the entire Bujor family pays big attention to all phases in the production, starting  with planting, continuing with cropping and ending with the sorting of cucumbers in coffrets.

“The sorting is made entirely by the family in order to be sure that the aspect of the coffrets corresponds to the exigencies of the buyers“, says Mircea Bujor.

For the future, he wishes to enter into the supermarkets also with the tomato broth, and in this sense he continues to diversify his business.

 

4.2. Finding Supporters for the Business Concept

 

The entire family is involved in growing vegetables, both the 3 children of the family, as well as other relatives. In total, there are 11 members of the family constantly involved in the business and the children wish to take over the business after finishing the studies.

Other partners were: Vegetable Growers Association, Inter-professional organization PRODCOM Fruits and Vegetables, Farmers’ Communication Center in Romania, the National Foundation of Young Managers, hypermarkets and the European Union.

 

4.3. Promoter‘s Advice

 

The key elements for a successful entrepreneur in multifunctional agriculture are:

  • Hard work
  • Continuous learning and information
  • Respecting the final clients and intermediaries
  • Adaptation to the requests of the market
  • Respecting the nature and the environment
  • Tenacity and desire to self-improve

 

4.4. Queries and Consideration

 

The entrepreneurship in agriculture requires a lot of investment in work, but also specific knowledge and financial support.

In order to be successful, you have to think all the time how to diversify the activities, in order to be able to make a decent living from agriculture and make sure you can obtain income.

The respect for nature, for the environment and the business partners is vital for the multifunctional agriculture.

 

Extra information:

 

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

 

Leader

 

Case study in PDF

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