On 18th of August, Vilniaus Duona presented a long-term Initiative: Bread Grown in Lithuania, with the aim to bake rye products using flour made from rye grown in Lithuania only. Lithuanian farmers and the flour producer Malsena joined in the Initiative was as well. The support was also expressed by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, as proclaimed in the press release. “While rye bread products’ consumption is steadily increasing, the number of rye crops cultivated declined three times during the past decade. Thus in an odd year, almost a third of the flour required for the bread production is ground from imported grains. We would not wish for rye cultures to happen the situation of flax cultivation. Cultivation of flax, having such deep historical importance for Lithuania unfortunately, is almost extinct.”, – said the Director of Commerce of Vilniaus Duona Gražvydas Jukna. According to Jukna, in order to change the current situation, the company joined efforts together with Lithuanian farmers and flour producers, seeking to implement the Initiative’s objectives. “The Initiative will aim to achieve the larger amount of rye bread products to be baked using Lithuanian rye flour only. This way we will encourage Lithuanian farmers to cultivate rye crops, and simultaneously we will promote the traditional Lithuanian rye bread products. We hope the users’ will appreciate our offer of rye products, starting from the month of September, marked with specified initiative’s brand and promoting the national identity.”, – said G. Jukna.
In order to ensure the highest level of control and traceability, Vilniaus Duona will exclusively buy flour ground from Lithuanian grown crops. To ensure of not encountering any shortages, contracts were signed with the flour producer, attesting that the selected farmers will cultivate rye exclusively to Vilniaus Duona. Partners of the Initiative – the flour producer Malsena and ten Lithuanian farmers will guarantee this. The Ministry of Agriculture also expressed support for the Initiative Bread Grown in Lithuania. According to Vice Minister Saulius Savickis, it is a welcomed Initiative of Lithuanian producers being able to meld the modernity with the traditions and simultaneously to stimulate and support Lithuanian farmers.
The initiators of the Bread Grown in Lithuania emphasize the future plans of Initiative’s expansion. There are ambitions for cultivating the ancient Lithuanian rye crops, such as Joniai, Rūkai, Dotnuvėlė, Duoniai, Lietuvos 3, Baltija, Dotnuvos Aukštieji, and baking the traditional Lithuanian rye bread using rye flour ground from these crops. In order to seek Initiative’s goals together, bread and flour producers and Lithuanian farmers made committed during the opening of the True Taste Day Festival, held at the Lithuanian Folk Life Museum in Rumšiškės on Friday. After a roundtable discussion about Lithuanian products, attended by the Vice-Minister of Agriculture together with producers of bread, cheese and honey industries, Vilniaus Duona, Malsena, and Lithuanian farmers representatives signed a symbolic Lithuanian Grown Bread Initiative manifest.