Food Development Company

In 2009, the Food Development Company Ltd (FDC) was registered in the UK with the aim of promoting socially responsible investment. The objectives are to be commercially viable, ethical  and sustainable - we call it impact investment


We have put into practice what a small group of international development specialists have been writing about for decades n sustainable enterprise development i.e. we are neither a project nor a charity and instead promote transparency and accountability. Twenty three private investors have so far funded FDC in a mixture of loans and investment (debt and equity). FDC qualifies for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) allowing UK investors 30% tax relief. After two years no inheritance tax is paid on these investments (with some exceptions) and they will be free of Capital Gains Tax after three years.


TheTransylvania Food Company Srl (TFC) was registered in Romania in 2010. It is wholly owned by FDC and is a social enterprise.  Our production is located in modern premises in Saschiz (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), where traditional skills are combined with quality control measures and modern production techniques that ensure a consistent product which fully meets the required standards of food safety and healthy eating. Careful design has ensured that our production facility blends with the architectural landscape on the outside while the use of modern materials provides thermal efficiency and a flexible food processing facility inside.

Socio-Economic Impact

We buy our raw materials from the community and we employ local people to produce our jams, chutney and cordials. From the outset we  have chosen indicators which can be verified from our financial accounts: number of permanent employees, number of seasonal employees and the quantity and value of raw materials purchased (berries flowers, fruits and vegetables).



  • Ten full time and three part time permanent staff plus seasonal;
  • Provision of training, fair wages, legal employment;
  • Profit sharing scheme for staff and understanding that their long term employment depends on our success;
  • Equity participation for local management providing sense of ownership;
  • Increased local capacity for compliance with health and safety, food legislation, fiscal and business environment etc leading to greater long term enterprise sustainability and increased impact on poverty reduction.

Other direct beneficiaries:

  • over 1,500 of the poorest local people (approximately 50% women and children) collect wild flowers, probably their only source of income in the year.  Some also collect wild fruits;
  • Other members of collectors family;
  • Empowerment of community leaders through the creation of collection points for wild harvested produce;
  • Treating the poorest and marginalised members of the community fairly and with respect;
  • Our purchase of flowers, fruit and vegetables provides local farmers with a route to market and the opportunity for diversification.

Indirect beneficiaries:

  • Sub-contractors and suppliers€, transport and suppliers of other materials, product packaging etc;
  • Community: increase in money circulating in local shops;
  • Eco-tourism: increase in trade for local hotels and restaurants - our shop and taste experience is bringing more visitors to the town and we also promote other activities for a short stay.

Environmental  Impact

  • Sustainable wild harvesting promoted - based on annual environmental impact assessments;
  • Local population are paid a fair price for collecting, providing them with a link to the value of conservation of their landscape and biodiversity;
  • By-products from processing used for on-farm compost, returning nutrients to the soil and conserving soil moisture.

Policy, Principles and Rules

Our sustainable development policy can be downloaded as a pdf document, as can our Guiding Principles and Golden Rules.


For further information visit

Pivnita Bunicii