Destination Romania: AgriPress Trip 2017

Nicoleta Dragomir, chairwoman of the Agricultural Press Association in Romania (APAR), gives her assessment of June’s ENAJ press trip to her country.


APAR is one of the youngest guilds in ENAJ, but this was not an disadvantage when we decided to organize our first press trip for ENAJ agricultural journalists. We chose to visit an agriculturally interesting region, Dobrogea, and to include in our trip one of the national symbols in our country: the Danube Delta.

Agriculture and local traditions

Meet the Romanian Agriculture”  was our invitation and I am sure that after one week of the journalistic trip our guests had many themes to write about. Beyond all agricultural information we had also time for networking, fun, talking each other and making new friends. The foreign journalists enjoyed the Romanian hospitality, the food and wine and our hosts were very open and they were waiting us with many beautiful surprises like national music performers and folk dances. So the agriculture was perfectly connected with the local traditions.

Show it!

I’ve always said that the safest, most reliable and the fastest way to promote the agriculture in one country is to show it to the agricultural journalists. Seen through the eyes of a specialized journalist the agriculture, the farmers and their work and daily struggle will always be the most certain and realistic overview. That is why we have invited 31 ag-journalists from twelve countries throughout the EU to join the trip. Together with the thirteen members of APAR (the organizing team) and six journalists from two national TV stations (agricultural broadcasting) we formed a multinational and multicultural group of 50 agricultural journalists

Day by day

I’m going to mark some of the main objectives we have visited during the press trip in Romania.

Day 1, 19 June 19 was for guests reception and our first dinner together, with Romanian dishes.

Day 2 we have visited the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest where we also had the official opening of the Agri Press Trip. PS. Special thanks to the University for the bus provided for our press trip.

Then we visited a Holstein cattle farm (over 500 milking cows), an elite farm because of the herd it holds. Doctor Mihai Petcu, together with his daughter, exposed the process of the genetic performance, his own products, as well as the Animal Farm, a novelty concept designed to raise the awareness of the young generation towards and to facilitate its fondness for knowing domestic animals. We had lunch at the farm.

In the afternoon we travelled to Perrein Arnaud’s farm in Ialomita county and we visited the farm. Arnaud Perrein is also the President of Corn Growers Association in Romania (APPR).

Day 3 we had an interactive cruise in the Danube Delta, all day long. The host of this trip was Ivan Patzaichin, a well known Romanian canoeist, quadruple winner of the gold medals at the Summer Olympics in 1968, 1972, 1980 and 1984 and winner of three silver medals. The trip to the Danube Delta also aimed to promote the uniqueness of what we possess. We will highlighted to the guests the efforts made for the conservation of this area:

  • the performance of tourism projects/ programs for an experience focusing on nature and culture, active outdoor experience;
  • the development of programs and strategies to enhance the quality of life and of opportunities for community development;
  • the support private initiatives that lead to economic, social, and cultural development of communities and that aim at enhancing the quality of life;
  • the protection, promotion, and support of the improvement of natural, historical, archaeological, and cultural heritage.

Day 4  We had a presentation of Miadmar fish factory. On the one hand, the company plans to benefit from the long fishing tradition (of over a hundred years) of the family of the shareholders-founders and, on the other hand, from the varied and numerous fishery resources in the Danube Delta and the Black Sea in their own area of activity. Therefore, in addition to the marketing of fresh marine and/or fresh-water fish originating from captures or purchases, the company has developed and promoted a number of fishery products, using traditional and/or organic recipes, some of them being certified, other being in course of certification, marketed under the Deltaica brand.

Next stop was in the village of Greci (Tulcea county) for a presentation of the National Park in Macin Mountains (the oldest in Europe), a protected area of national interest corresponding to the IUCN category II (national park, special area of conservation). The presentation was held by Viorel Rosca, the manager of the park.

Then we visited Angelo Group of companies was founded in 1992 with integral local capital. Food production activity: confectionery – patisserie, bakery, fruit and vegetable processing, honey processing and packaging, berries processing and packaging, packaging factory. It should be noted that the production activity takes place entirely in the rural areas, which means social safety for 300 families in this area. The group owns 11 bakeries in Dobrogea, it delivers in 7 counties and has 15 places of business. Food is entirely natural. The main purpose of the group is to promote local traditional product. In this regard, the specific procedures for obtaining certificates for the traditional products and the acknowledged products. The new brand of the Group – Moesis – also brings on the domestic and foreign market products like raw vegan, already existing in the menus of Blue Air airline. Thanks Paula Vals – the owner – for the wonderful welcome!

In the evening of the 4th day we travelled to Alcovin Mavin winery, supplier of the Royal House of Romania, where we had a wine tasting and presentation. Alcovin Macin exposes its vineyards at the foot of the Măcin Mountains, creating a sort of parallel line to the Old Danube, in the north-south direction, passing through Greci, Carcaliu and Cerna.

Day 5 was dedicated to the agriculture in Galati county. In the morning we visited Simongrig and  Petre Grigore was our host. He is a producer of healthy vegetables with a pleasant look and taste, without pesticide residues, with a longer period of preservation if kept in appropriate conditions. The storage areas, built and equipped according to European standards, allow the delivery of fresh vegetables all the year round. The company was conceived as an organization with a new vision, built on new principles according to which the emphasis is on quality of products made by using new technologies with reduced workforce, according to the latest standards in the field. Simongirg produces vegetables (potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips, beetroot, radish black), cereals (wheat, barley, corn) and industrial crops (sunflower, soybean, rapeseed, sugar beet).

Next stop was in the village of Viile, at Eurofruct, an orchard made from scratch and producing good fruition using domestic capital. The complexity of investment and the management designed for the high-quality production resulted in a successful company. The horticulture complex with orchard on 75 hectares, vineyard on 10 hectares and 5,000 m2of greenhouse for floriculture and vegetable growing. Sources of financing: two European projects, amounting to 500,000 euro each, leasing agreement for the range of machines and agricultural machinery, bank loans with subsidized interest.

In the afternoon we travelled to Matca, where Gavrila Tuchilus was waiting for us. He owns the dairy and crops farm named “Agrimat Matca”. Gavrila Tuchilus transformed the former State Agricultural Coop in Tecuci (Galati county) in a profitable farm holding and with a professional management. He was transferred in this farm in 1990 when he was 33 years old. The farm, at that time, was organized according to the communist model of agricultural cooperativization. Today Gavrila Tuchilus works together with his son 5,000 hectares of agricultural land and he owns over 1,000 cows – Holstein herds. The latest technology and machines and total involvement are some of the secrets of this undeniable farming success.

In the evening we travelled to Braila, the last county we visited, where we had a gala dinner with a wine tasting of Husi wines.

Day 6 was allocated for the visit of Agricost – The Big Island of Braila, the largest arable farm in European Union. Our hosts were Constantin Dulute , Agricost manager and Lucian Buzdugan, the president of the board of administration of Agricost and a very good professional in crop production.

The visit aims to bring forward the excellence in agriculture and of the place where the performance attracts all input companies in the world in order to prove the quality of their products. This foray into the field of top agriculture comes to prove that on the route of this informal trip started at USAMV we can find, eventually, experts trained by the Romanian agricultural education. The visit of the agricultural allotments in Big Island of Braila actually highlights the capacity of the Romanian experts to support an exceptional agriculture.

In the evening we travelled back to Bucharest and we had our last dinner together.

Day 7 was the day for departure, for saying good-bye and for promisses to come back to Romania – whether as journalists or tourists.


Special thanks

In the end of this report I have some special thanks. First of all I am really grateful for all the companies and farmers who have sponsored our event and made it possible. Thousands of thanks for my colleagues who have involved a lot in organizing the trip. And thanks for all the members of the Management Committee of ENAJ for the support in promoting the Romanian press trip and handling the communication with the associated guilds.

Best regards for all guilds in ENAJ from Romania.

Nicoleta Dragomir, chairwoman of APAR – The Agricultural Press Association in Romania


The colleagues of Romania

Who are the colleagues in Romania, who organized the successful ENAJ/A.P.A.R press trip in June? An overview by Katharina Seuser.  

The Romanian guild APAR (The Agricultural Press Association in Romania) is one of the youngest guilds in ENAJ: it was founded in June 2013 and became member of ENAJ in December 2013. This June they invited 31 ENAJ members to a five-day press trip to Dobrogea. Here we introduce the board members to you:

Nicoleta Dragomir

Nicoleta is chief editor of Ferma, the leading agricultural magazine in Romania. And she is the founding president of the Romanian guild of agricultural journalists, APAR. Nicoleta is also pushing international activities in APAR. During the press trip she tells us: “We want to play an important role within ENAJ.”

Her success story started with a Bachelor studies in journalism and communications in Timisoara. During her studies she worked as a broadcast journalist in a local radio station and she was a news reporter for a private TV station. She also graduated a master degree in agricultural management.

Since 1998 she is covering agricultural topics. Seventeen years ago she started working for Ferma. From the beginning she was designed chief editor. “My boss put incredible trust in me“, she resumes. Since then Nicoleta developed the magazine continuously. Together with her team she installed a video platform and started a Facebook group for farmers. She is convinced:” if you want to be successful in journalism, you have to be in time with technology“.

Nicoleta is also convinced, that the Romanian agriculture has a bright future.”The challenges for our farms are better rules, better management and better marketing of the products“, she said. Information and communication would be essential for improvements. Her vision is to develop Ferma as the most important network platform for professionals in agriculture. Having invited ENAJ will hopefully support her efforts.

Liviu Gordea

Liviu is editor of Ferma and vice president of APAR. Being a journalist is his dedication: “I like to meet people, talk to them and tell their stories”, he says. He started his career as a sport journalist while he was studying electrical engineering and telecommunications in Bratislava. In these times sport was  his passion. He had been a junior athlete and his biggest success was a gold medal in handball in a national competition. In 2011 he started working for Ferma. “In the beginning it was hard for me to distinct between wheat and barley,” he says. Today he is specialized on agricultural machinery, but he is interested in all topics. He is convinced that the Romanian agriculture will keep growing as in the last decade. Liviu lives in Timisoara, he is married and has a two years old boy named Avi.

Marius Gavrilla

Marius is a journalist and cameraman working for TVR1. He serves as Secretary General of APAR. TVR1 is the most important public broadcaster in Romania. It was installed more than 60 years ago. Marius started his work for TVR1 27 years ago, after studies in journalism and a master course in agriculture. “I want to be near to the farmers,” he says and he spends most of his working time in the fields. Asked for his personal goals he says. “I really like what I am doing.” He expects a good future for agriculture – in Romania and in the EU.  Marius lives in Bucharest and has a 17 year-old boy named Virgil Adrian.

Stefan Rancu

Stefan is a veterinarian but agriculture is his passion. From Mondays to Fridays he works for the two hours broadcast Romania agricola at Agro TV. Since 25 years he is an editor for the national radio channel Radio Antena Satelor. The program includes news, interviews and debates, it informs farmers about all important matters and gives solutions for problems. Stefan likes to inform his listeners about success stories and he thinks that farmers should collaborate. He is convinced that agriculture and farmers have a bright future but that support is needed.

He lives with his family in Bucharest and has 10 year old twins, a boy named Mihnea and a girl named Tiana.

Cosmin Andrei

Cosmin is team manager for the rural programs at TVR1. He studied economics and journalism and started his career at TVR1. In 2000 he started working for rural topics and today he manages a team of six colleagues. They produce a TV broadcast for rural areas. “We all have roots in agriculture,” he explains. His biggest concern is that young people move from villages to the cities. “They should start an agricultural business. Look, we have enough land for many farmers,” he says.

Cosmin lives in Bucharest and has two boys, twins, one year old, named George and Ionut.


Romania, I’m in love – British journalist Jeremy Hobson recounts his experience of the press trip

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