“Education is the biggest value for farmers.”

With these words, Zaza Keresidze, ENPARD's coordinator (from People in Need – PIN) in the region of Racha, Georgia welcomed ISET graduate students during a field trip organized by the Agricultural Policy Research Center (APRC) of the ISET Policy Institute.

The two-day field trip to Racha (a highland area in western Georgia, located in the upper Rioni river valley and hemmed in by the Greater Caucasus mountains), included visits to Blauenstein Georgia and the Natural Products of Racha agricultural cooperative, during which local representatives of the farm and cooperative introduced ISET students to the current operations, capacities, and highlights of their respective enterprises.

The students first visited Blauenstein Georgia, which is composed of a local farm complex in Racha, a meat processing plant, and the Blauenstein Brand shop in Tbilisi. The company’s local representatives conducted a small tour which started in the slaughterhouse and continued on to the farm.

Wastes and unused leftover meat are recycled in nature as fertilizers, and the company’s veterinary staff adhere to very strict sanitary controls throughout the entire cycle, starting from the breeding to the slaughtering of the animals. During all preparation processes, European and Swiss standards are enforced so that quality products are guaranteed at the point of sale.

After the slaughterhouse tour, the students moved on to one of the eight farms the company currently owns, with a capacity of 120 animals. However, most Blauenstein farms are designed to keep around 600 cattle and 200 pigs.

As explained by the company representative, the main concept behind Blauenstein is to control and manage the entire quality and sanitary chain from the farm to the consumers. On cold seasons, animals are kept in spacious farms surrounded with fields where they can walk freely; from spring to autumn they live on pastures, as it is proven that physical activities are essential for the healthy and natural development of an animal, which results in the producing of outstanding meat and dairy products, having kept all their natural taste.

The second and the last part of the field trip involved visiting an ENPARD-supported enterprise, Natural Products of Racha, an apiculture cooperative located in Ambrolauri, Racha. Beekeeper farmers met ISET students, guided them through the cooperatives facilities and gave general ideas about their day to day operations, challenges and future perspectives.

ISET is devoted to its commitment of giving students high quality education, which includes both theoretical and practical knowledge, as in this experience with the agriculture and private sectors in

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