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News / EU helps an Albanian organic food store to improve sustainability
Migena Malo runs MIA, an organic grocery store in Tirana’s city centre whose crates of fresh fruits and vegetables put nature’s bounty on display for locals and tourists alike. Although organic, sustainable agriculture is on the rise in Albania, the sector remains largely unconquered. Migena, however, is about to change that.
To ensure she could continue to follow the appropriate rules and regulations governing organic production, Migena turned to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for assistance. An advisory project, financed jointly with the European Union’s Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF), helped MIA prepare for and acquire the GLOBALG.A.P. (Global Good Agricultural Practices) certificate, a widely recognised standard in advanced food safety and sustainability. The benchmark will support marketing efforts and help the store attract more clients. “We feel a real sense of duty and responsibility towards our clients,” says Migena. “As a team, we now understand what it means to produce organically and what sustainability standards we have to fulfil to deliver on that promise.”
Although Migena is currently focusing on strengthening the brand and solidifying her client base, she is also working on a five-year plan that envisages opening more shops across Albania, supporting the livelihood of local farmers dedicated to sustainability.
Photo credits: EBRD
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