In the past Slovakia used to be strong producer of vegetables, covering not only domestic demand but production from this region was also expotred, mainly to Czech republic. Production was dislocated to lot of small growers, which where organized with lokal wholesale organizations which where supplying bigger wholesale firms. The local organizators advised the growers in vegetable sortiment and quantity which they schould grow. This worked relativly stable until the market situation changed, with the foreign retail chains entering the market in Czech and Slovak republic. The decentralized production and distribution system was not able to adapt to conditions of new costumers, which asked the suppliers to standardize the quality, offer more different packaging, and supply for competitive prices, in terms of European market not only localy, which where some years under production costs. As a result the nummber of growers went down and the system collapsed. That resulted in Slovakia losing the position of vegetable exporter and becoming to be an importer in a scale that more than 50 % of its demand is covered with import. In simular position is now also Czech republic, Hungary and also Poland although in much smaller scale.
Today the domestic production is in direct competition with production from contries like Italy, Spain, France and even Maroko, or Egypt. Today we have an free market where the goods can be supplied anywhere the demand is, but the production conditions are not equal. Somewhere the agricultural subsidies are higher, somewhere is for the production used irigation water which is in direct competition to drinking water, and never the less the vegetables supplied to our local market many times have to get throuhg long transport ways, and that way dangerous emisions are produced. The vegetables imported to our local market are many times cheaper then the ones produced at home, but is the price inclusive the side effects that comes with import?
The answer on this situation is the development of strong local grower organizations, with suficient capital and personal basis, being equal partners to retail chains. The grower organizations should be able to offer that, what the costumer is asking, in the quantity and quality and for competitive prices, which comply with the European market sitiation, but being grown localy.
Zeleninarska a.s. is established by growers with the goal to help local growers in their effort to stabilize and develop sales of local growned potatoes and vegetables on relevant market. Relevat market for us are costumers in Slovakia, but also in Czech republic and in Hungary, which can be either retail chains, wholesales, catering, but also procesing firms.
From its begining is company acting mainly as potato and onion supplier to retail chains, but already its name which means vegetable company leads to more angagement in other vegetable production in the future.