1.     Description of Business

Company description, functions – products from nature according to old traditions (apple cheese, chips, cranberries with honey)

It’s a family business, working with mom, dad, wife, all with their own functions. The company is engaged in buying, drying, reselling mushrooms and berries to restaurants and other customers. It also produces products from apples, pears, quince and so on.

2.     Description of Innovation

Innovation in the company is not something very radical, we use what has been invented, perhaps forgotten, we revive it and present it in our own way. I do not see much innovation in my field of production, because the strength in this field lies in tradition. We will soon be launching a set of “Marijos trobelė” spices, which will be quite innovative, as thirty percent of the spices will consist of dried boletus. However, we bring more innovations to active marketing and sales – packaging, media, prehistory of our company presentation. Also next year I plan to install solar panels, reduce electricity costs and thus contribute to greater sustainability.

The purpose of the innovations is to take the first place in the market of apple cheese producers, to introduce apple cheese as a Lithuanian sweet and to start exporting products abroad.

3.     Challenges

Absolutely unpredictable company growth rate. Another challenge is weather conditions when the apple trees are drought-free or there are no mushrooms in the forests.

4.     Actors and stakeholders

We work closely with the producers of oak acorn and barley coffee, as I think we complement each other in traditional Lithuanian products. I also started to think about cooperation in clusters of manufacturers or exporters, as well as with Vytautas Magnus University Agricultural Academy.

5.     Outcomes

The company receives many orders, we actively participate in fairs, exhibitions, we have activities with private companies, production can be found in major supermarkets. We are also starting to think about export opportunities in the near future. This year, an interactive way of presenting information should emerge, in the language you want it to be, it should be useful while participating in fairs.

6.     Learnings

It is important to measure how much the market you can ‘cover’ and innovation is born by ‘jazzing’ your idea.

7.     Obstacles & shortcomings

Working with the National Food and Veterinary Service is quite difficult because of the very large documentation required and the system not being flexible. It is also difficult to agree with nursery gardens.

Certainly, the weather conditions, the size of the harvest can also be an obstacle.

8.     Recommendations

You may need more practical information when setting up a business. Similarly, many small businesses are reluctant to take advantage of INVEGA’s soft loans, and are reluctant to look at European help with start-ups; possible cooperation between small businesses and universities, both partners should be strongly encouraged to establish contacts.

9.     Reflections/Conclusions

The financial environment in Lithuania is not bad at all, there are all the opportunities for innovation and creation of new products.