Regardless if you’ve grown a passion for manufacturing food or have been working your whole life in food production, you decide now it’s time to earn your living by connecting people to your products. Most likely, you will start as a small food producer capable of selling your products in the immediate vicinity. Today the demand by many consumers for healthier products is drastically rising.
The vision to connect your food to the widespread consumer without harming the land is difficult. Many factors, including lack of resources and competition by wealthier and larger market players, overtake small producers. This can discourage many, especially those starting from their small production facilities. But don’t give up yet, small producers are the main provider of food globally. Many even impact communities far better than corporate producers. In Macedonia, many small producers have created communities of followers and helped local economies despite the hardships of the pandemic.
It only takes one (food product) to change many
One such producer is Metodi, a local wine producer from the Tikves Region. The region’s popular for locally grown grapes, resulting in excellent wines that few large companies export. Metodi comes from a long line of wine producers who have been making their wine for personal use for generations. His family has been using a generational secret in combining multiple blends of grapes in order to create a wine, unique in-depth and flavor. Growing up, he was always witnessing many – neighbors to large company representatives asking for the family recipe with the intention of replicating it. Many generate revenue from wine sales in the region, however, his family never gave in. This prompted Metodi to register as a small food producer and start selling his products on the local market.
How he made it work
Realizing he had a unique product but little to no publicity and a very high competitive environment, Metodi decided to spend his savings on creating a PR campaign based on family values as a service to the community that instantly went viral. He also built a large network with other local producers and development organizations and was the first to propose full transition to organic production. This was part of a wider solution for better quality production. Plans were also made for the future. He would be promoting wine tourism and taking implementing actions with development organizations in the country on realising this goal. In turn, Metodi contributed to the economic and environmental aspects of his community. Many more communities soon started following this sustainable model of development.
Entering the food-producing sector, whether in Macedonia or another part of the world is not confined to just producing/selling. It’s discovering how your actions can impact your community, foster cooperation, and justify that small producer protect the environment. Metodi may have been fictional, but he’s a personification of what each and every small producer can strive to be.
Interested in learning about a few successful examples? Check out our blog on the power of sustainable business models for organic agriculture!