The issues of educating managers and shop assistants are gaining more and more importance. Within the framework of the project “E(co)-Qualify”, nine partners are working together to adapt and transfer the existing knowledge about training in organic food retail from Western Europe to Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey, EcoConnect reports. (Picture: A successful organic shop in Romania)
This initiative is the third phase of the project “E(co)-Qualify”. 20 partners from 10 countries have already developed a comprehensive “Quality Assurance System” for continuing education and further training in organic retail in Europe. Now, the new system is being transferred into countries that have not benefited from the first two phases of “E(co)-Qualify”. The whole project is being funded by “Leonardo da Vinci”.
“E(co)-Qualify III” started in October 2010 and is expected to end in October 2012. There are five meetings of partners planned during the whole duration of the project. The main tasks are the analysis of the current situation in organic retail, testing, adaptation and creating the final version of the “Quality Assurance System” and spreading it between providers of qualification and training, professional associations, policy makers, businesses, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders interested in organic retail in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey. A need for new knowledge, skills and competences for organic food retailer sector is expected in particular in the fields of certification, accreditation, regulations and licensing in those South-Eastern Europe countries.
Training and professional education institutions in those countries will learn to know this system and implement it in their daily training and education practices, therefore passing the knowledge about marketing of organic products directly to the organic retail sector. Besides that, the whole project “E(co)-Qualify” provides a platform for an e-learning system for training of owners, managers and employees in the organic food trade, which will be completed to a comprehensive distance learning system in the near future.