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Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania
Conservarea biodiversităţii şi dezvoltare comunitară în Transilvania

Innovation in traditional products and processing

Local pigConservation of the biodiversity of this man-made landscape is only possible by maintaining the farming activity economic viability.

The agricultural economy can have profound effects on HNV landscape conservation. For example, many small and medium size dairy farmers are selling their livestock because milk processing companies no longer collect milk from their villages. This is critically damaging small-scale HNV farmer livelihoods, and also the landscape since livestock are essential for maintenance of pastures and hay-meadows.

ADEPT is implementing a range of measures to create demand for products, and to boost local income from agriculture. This will improve the economic viability of small-scale producers and of small-scale farming communities.
  • workshops on milk hygiene. It is UNTRUE that hand milking is discouraged by the EU. Improved discipline at milking time can solve milk hygiene problems
  • development of community-owned village milk collection points. If combined with quality control, these points will allow farmers to seek best offers for milk and not be tied to a particular buyer
  • cheese production, especially mature cheese (over 60 days) which has fewer health risks and is subject to less rigorous hygiene regulations
  • community-owned micro-processing units: ADEPT has developed a basic model, easily replicated, for village-level food processing that meets hygiene regulations for small producers
  • establishing an umbrella brand for the area and all the products and services it offers
  • marketing: establishing farmers markets and connecting tourism and food sales by linking producers with visitors, and with local guesthouses and hotels. See

Art of Dar

The Art of Dar is a product that combines the unique food products of Transylvania with highest quality Transylvanian crafts.


The product line was launched in SIAL world food trade fair in Paris, in October 2012. It is sold in limited numbers; 1,001 for each product: 1,000 to be sold, for 365 each, and the final one to be auctioned internationally.

The unique qualities of the product, and its position as the most expensive jam in the world, have created wide media attention. Art of Dar is a flagship product which in one innovative action has successfully raised the profile of traditional Transylvanian food products, crafts and high nature landscapes, in general.


Some examples of local products

Sheep cheese – a product intimately linked to the landscape and the culture of the area.

Mature cheese is easier to keep and transport to markets than fresh cheese.
ADEPT is helping local producers to develop interesting varieties of mature cheese, from both cow milk and sheep milk.

Jam and honey

ADEPT is bottling local jam and honey for sale to tourists as gifts to take home that will remind them of the rich biodiversity of the area.  Bee keepers have received twice the price they obtained when selling their honey in bulk for blending.
Cherry jam
Marketing of honey, jam: strict quality control and improved packaging are increasing the volume of sales, and prices, for local producers.

Over 6,500 jars of locally-produced jam were sold in 2012 (compared to 2,000 in 2006), both to visitors and at national or international markets.

We aim to supply these products to regional hotels and restaurants, which currently buy imported jams and honey.

Dried fruits and herbs

ADEPT has designed and built eight low-technology solar driers, which we have provided free to local families on a trial basis. They were used successfully in the summer months of 2007 and 2008. They are improving household storage of herbs and vegetables, as well as providing marketable products.

The driers were made locally by village carpenters from a template provided by ADEPT.

Producers are now selling dried fruit, herbs and medicinal plants: in markets, to visitors in their own courtyard, from the Tourist Information Centre in Saschiz and in Christmas baskets given by Orange Romania to their staff.

Local products


Information and local economy

CAP information measure

Innovation and local products




Creating a brand

ADEPT has developed a brand for the area which acts as a quality mark for local products.

To see a description of the range of local products and local / traditional producers in the area,see the Products section in the Discover Tarnava Mare website,

local preserves

Tarnava Mare branded products have established a good market in Romania, and are showing the way for other regional branding to add value to local/traditional products.


Video blog on CAP reform from young farmers point of view

This video blog presents the perspective of the European South on the way to the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. Discussions with young farmers during a journey across Greece, uncovering the diversity of Europe’s farming and food systems. It is time to re-think food in Europe, taking into account our food and nutrition security, the environment, the landscape and people. 

Every day we vote with our forks for the kind of agriculture we want in Europe!

SLow Food Tarnava Mare

The visit of Slow Food (Italy) in 2005, instigated by HRH The Prince of Wales, to the Tarnava Mare area prompted the formation of Saxon Village Preserves, a Slow Food project which receives marketing assistance to attend the biennial international Slow Food festival in Turin, funded by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. This is helping to develop the link between good quality, clean and free of chemical residues and a fair price, in the minds of both producers and consumers.

ADEPT helped form Slow Food Tarnava Mare (formerly SF Sighisoara), the first Slow Food Convivium in Romania, bringing together consumers (hotels and restaurants) with local farmers and producers.
Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România