Functional Short Food Supply Chains in The Field of Romanian Rural Tourism. Case Study: Harghita and Neamț Counties

Nowadays, one cannot talk about an authentic rural tourism within a certain destination without emphasizing the local cultural heritage (cultural landscape, customs and traditions, gastronomy and so on). In the existing context, the local gastronomy is perceived as a marketing instrument efficient in differentiating the rural touristic destinations. A special place in the development of the traditional cuisine is represented by the setting up and the promotion of the short food supply chains which can be achieved by sustaining the small local producers and by putting into practice an environment-friendly traditional agriculture. Sustaining the partnerships between the owners of accommodation units and the small local agricultural producers represents an essential element in putting into practice a sustainable and qualitative rural tourism. Romania has substantial potential as regards the enhancement of short food supply chains thanks to: the large number of semi-subsistence agricultural farms (with an area under 5 hectares), the „village-town connection” as regards the food procurement, especially from acquaintances and relatives and the carrying on of a traditional agriculture at a large scale in the rural households.The case studies emphasized in the current paper (Harghita and Neamţ Counties) focus on the existence of short food supply chains, functional in the rural tourism sector under very different ways: touristic sheepfolds, trout farms, inns, authentic holiday villages, peasant guest houses etc.
Key words: short food supply chains, agri-food sector, local gastronomy, rural tourism
JEL Classification: L83, L66, O13, D71
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