Between 20th and 21th September 2021, Simon Stork (FH SWF, Germany) and Mertijn Moeyersons (KU Leuven, Belgium) joined the Slovenian Newbie team and national stakeholders on a tour through the Goriška Brda hilly region, the Vipava River valley and Slovenian Istria to meet several newbies and established farmers who are involved in different kinds of farm tourism and/or gastronomy. Topics include common barriers and challenges, potential advantages, supportive environment, policy development, different strategies and the distinction between farm tourism as a main or supplementary activity on farm.
The first day we started in the Goriška Brda hilly region, where agriculture (mainly wine production, cherries and olive groves) is closely connected with tourism. In morning we visited the farm Štekar – a tourist farm with long tradition, accommodations, glamping, cuisine and wine production. The place and timing in the Goriška Brda hilly region was also perfect for the last NEWBIE National Discussion Circle addressing access to market. With six invited speakers (three “newbies” – Domen Virant, Tilen Soklič and Nina Froggatt, an entrepreneur and “newbie” in the food sector Uroš Kavčič, representatives of the oldest collective brand in Slovenia “Babica in Dedek”, president of the Association of Rural Development in Slovenia and Local Action Group) we were being discussed how farmers develop their products and services, how do they response to unstable market conditions, how newcomers in farming are positioning themselves in the market, how farmers enter in the supply of public institutions and supermarkets, how to establish and develop a collective brand with the quality monitoring, how the opinion about joint marketing is changing among farmers of different generations, how to set up a mobile short supply chain with local products, etc.
In the afternoon, we visited the farm Belica with gastronomy (own prosciutto and wine production) and accommodation offer and wine producer Simčič. In the evening, we had been discussing with members of supportive environment (regional development agency, farmer advisor, representative of the media, farmers and researchers) on farm Cigoj in Vipava River valley. It was also our last stop on the first day for our overnight stay.
Next day, we took a tour around the farm Cigoj, who is dedicated to meat and wine production in the combination with tourism. The Cigoj farm has an own meat aging facility and an own on farm store. In the neighbouring village, we also visited eco camping and tourist farm with high cousin Saksida. We continued our field trip to Slovenian Istria with visit of two organic farms: wine farm and tourism Bordon and olive farm Gramona. We finished our tour with olive oil tasting in farm Gramona drektly on the see and discussion with the representatives of the local cooperative “Zemlja in morje”.
In two days, over 30 participants learnt about different business models of beginner farms, young farmers and established farmers. Study tour was organised within two projects: NEWBIE and national Target Research Program project VINGATUR focused on wine, gastronomy and farm tourism development.
After two intensive days of field visits, it was followed with some research work and meetings in Ljubljana.
Picture: Slovenian Discussion Group
Picture: Combining art and wine growing
Picture: Farm tourism by young olive tree farmers
Picture: Farm tourism with rooms and glamping
Picture: Left to rigtht our Newbie team members: Sara from Slovenia, Simon from Germany and Mertijn from Belgium
Picture: Pig farm by new farmer