A good example is provided by the Aldea family. 10 years ago Cristian Aldea started exporting refined oil through Oleomet, the company he built in 1994. In 1996, Aldea opened a factory in Giurgiu where he has been producing oil since. Three years ago his business was taken over by his children, Roxana and Stefan. They decided to diversify the range of products and decided to produce cold pressed oil out of sunflower seeds, hemp, sesame, grapes or apricots. One more step and this year the Aldea family have started producing bio certified oils out of sesame, hemp and flaxseed. ’We have been producing around 2 tons of crude oil and 14 tons of refined oil’, Stefan Aldea, the manager of Oleomet, told us. Part of the oil goes to the modern retail trade. Through the Metro supermarket chain the two managers provide consumers with 10,000 lei worth of oil every month. When asked how difficult it was for them to enter modern trade, Stefan explained to us that he was first refused by the retailer but was accepted, after the manager saw the oils produced in Giurgiu. Apart from the hypermarkets, Oleomet products can be found in organic shops such as Naturalia or Hofigal. In 2013, Oleomet sold 700,000 lei worth of oil.
Natural juice from Heroiu farm
Another successful entrepreneur on the natural products market is young Mihai Heroiu Ionescu, who extracts juice out of apples. Heroiu has an apple-tree orchard that covers 2 ha in Dobresti, Topoloveni. He built there a factory that annually produces 25,000 l of natural apple juice. Because he cannot produce enough raw material in his orchard 30% of the fruit he has used this year was bought from other farmers in the area. The young man explains to us that he produces 1 l of juice out of 2 kg of apples, without any additive. This is the second year he sells under the brand of Ferma Heroiu. ‘You can buy this natural juice in markets and fairs. But we intend to approach supermarkets, as well. We have been discussing things with Mega Image şi Carrefour’, says Mihai Heroiu Ionescu. Last year his factory sold 30,000 euros worth of apple juice.
Romania, beneficial for foreigners
Not only Romanian entrepreneurs have entered this niche. A Greek who saw business opportunities in Romania is Ilias Papageorgiadis. He has been dealing in real estate for some years now, but he has also decided to approach food trade by selling traditional Greek products such as: olives, olive oil a.o. ‘We are going to sell over 100 organic products that my brother produces in Katerini’, he told us. Ilias Papageorgiadis owns the food retail More Only for You. He claims that 4o million worth of organic products are produced in his factory and are delivered in different countries. As to his objectives in Romania, Papageorgiadis aims to sell 1.5 million worth of Greek products in 2015.
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