State-owned “Unirea” grocery stores to launch in the country

Three decades after the collapse of the communist era in Romania, the government plans to reintroduce a state-owned retail chain under the Unirea (The Union) brand, using groceries from local farmers in order to compete against hypermarkets and supermarkets, reports Economica. The initiative is said to be the biggest yet by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We propose to launch a retail chain of 60 grocery shops on a national scale, all selling fresh Romanian groceries. Technically, we can open the first store in a week, but we need approvals, and the bureaucracy is slowing us down,” Adrian Izvoranu, president of the Unirea Agro-Food Trade House, said during a press conference.

According to Izvoranu, Trade House employees are busy selecting farmers, establishing mobile and local collection centers, and consolidating existing processing units. The proposed shops will be opened in developed parts of the country, because Trade House is seeking to stimulate sales of Romanian products from local shops, hence establishing a commercial balance between imports and exports, the Union’s president suggested. The state-owned company will work exclusively with small farmers in Romania, who are estimated to number more than 2 million.

The Unirea Agro-Food Trade House aims to fill the gap in three sections of the agro-industry: sales of Romanian groceries, sales of fish caught in the Black Sea and Danube Delta, and sales of wool. Currently, the Trade House has a market capitalization of RON 93 million (EUR 19.7 million) allocated from the government’s budget, money targeted at reaching its goals.

Title image: Vegetable basket. Image source: Pixabay

Author: István Fekete