The Alliance for the Living Tisza registered the Living Tisza trade mark, a symbol of an organic, integrated Tisza Region. The aim of the trade mark is to help farmers, rural accommodation providers, local processors, service providers living in the watershed reaching markets.
The Alliance for the Living Tisza
The River Tisza connects five countries – Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia. The watershed suffers from floods, droughts, inland waters, pollution of the water, loss of biodiversity, economic and social depression. The experience of centuries proves that the harmony of man and nature can be sustained. The basis of long term sustainability of the human society is the cooperation with nature: economic and social systems which do not waste resources but enrich them.
The Alliance for the Living Tisza Association (ALT) was founded in 2006. It aims to improve the living conditions of those living on the watershed of the Tisza, to increase their flood security and environmental safety, to preserve and enrich the ecological values of the river and to provide an adequate quality of life for the people of this region. The Alliance is a network of private persons, non-governmental organizations, municipalities, researchers and farmers. The Alliance has seven Action Groups along the rivers Tisza and Körös in Hungary, in the Eastern and Northern regions of the country: Bereg, Bodrogköz, Kesznyéten Nature Protection Area, Borsodi Mezőség, Nagykörű and environs, Nagy-Sárrét and Kis-Sárrét.
The work of ALT was assisted by the UNDP-GEF-MEW funded Tisza Biodiversity Project until the autumn of 2008. The Alliance endeavours to implement the sustainable floodplain management system along the river. Its experts have summarized the theory and practical recommendations on floodplain management in a handbook, lobby for the introduction of sustainable river and landscape management practices and rural development, issued a great number of publications. ALT helps small and medium scale farmers to reach markets and to introduce environmentally friendly farming systems.
The Trade Mark
The regions on the watershed of the River Tisza are very diverse from cultural, ecological, economic and social aspects, though they have a lot of commonalities. The ALT registered the Living Tisza trade mark, what is a symbol of these commonalities, a symbol of an organic, integrated Tisza Region. The aim of the trade mark is to help farmers, rural accommodation providers, local processors, service providers living in the watershed reaching markets.
There are more and more people in Hungary, who think it is important to support Hungarian economy by buying local, environmentally friendly, healthy products. Traditional products, the good old flavours, agricultural landraces have a growing market. The trade mark helps the producer and the customer to find each other. The trade mark offers a new marketing opportunity for fresh food (fruits, vegetables, cheese, yoghurt,…); preserved products (sausage, jam, canned fruit etc.); alcoholic drinks (wine, pálinka [brandy],…); handcraft products (wood, leather, reed,…); and a lot of other products from the Tisza region.
It offers a great opportunity to link the retail of local products with touristic services and cultural programs (e.g. rural, incentive or eco-tourism). Rural accommodation providers, restaurants, bike rentals, cultural program organizers, bakers, fishermen and other local producers may cooperate and join the trade mark system together. So, the tourists visiting the region can eat and drink local products, the service providers and producers all can benefit. It is easier to access consumers with standard, high-quality design, common organizing, than trying it separately with simple, photocopied leaflets.
How does the trade mark system work?
ALT and the trade mark user signs a contract. The user gets the licence for using the trade mark on its products / services for one year. The parties may re-enter into contract at once after expiring. ALT may control the quality of products and services, which bear the trade mark to ensure that the user meets the self-imposed conditions recorded in the contract.
ALT provides the following services for the trade-mark users:
- Marketing, advertisement services for trade mark users financed by the trade mark licence fees.
- Preparing cheap advertisement material (leaflets, stickers, bulletin boards etc.) on demand for trade mark users with a standard design.
- Each trade mark user gets an own subpage on the homepage of the trade mark system (www.savanyusag.hu).
- Opportunities to exhibit and sell products at festivals, exhibitions at the Living Tisza stands.
- Opportunities to sell products in shops, markets in contract with Living Tisza (in ‘local product corners’).
What criteria must be met?
The trade mark offers a special quality for customers. Therefore, trade mark users oblige themselves in the contract that their products comply with the following:
1. The product or service was made in the catchment area of the Tisza, in Hungary.
2. Hungarian product or service.
3. Local product or service.
4. Corresponds to the standards for the production in effect (Hungarian, EU regulation).
5. Method of production may be:
a) Conventional farming switching to environmentally friendly farming or
b) Environmentally friendly farming or
c) Certified organic farming or
d) Landscape Management.
6. Grown in natural soil.
7. Not treated by ionizing / radioactive radiation.
There are a number of characteristics that the product or service is not required to fulfill, but may be voluntarily undertaken in the contract. The following advantageous features may be indicated on the product and may help the sale.
10. Free from chemical residues
11. Made from natural raw materials
12. Flavored with honey
13. Added sugar and sweetener-free
15. Free from artificial additives
16. Free of artificial coloring
17. Free from artificial flavouring
18. Hormone and antibiotic free breeding / cultivation
19. Natural growth, yield
20. Natural ripening (no ripening or drying agent)
21. Rich in nutrients
22. Landrace or regional variety
23. Hungarian breed
24. Without fertilizer
25. Without chemical pest control
The majority of farmers use the conventional (intensive) methods in Hungary. However, the Living Tisza trade mark system does not exclude them from the possibility to use the trade mark, but gives them an incentive to change to environmentally friendly methods. The contracting farmers using conventional methods are obliged to lower their environmental load according to a management plan agreed by an expert of ALT (see criterion 5 above).
What are the benefits?
- The Living Tisza design represents well the thoughts, emotions connected to the trade mark.
- The trade mark system and direct marketing campaigns of ALT attracted the Hungarian media’s interest (national radios, televisions, newspapers), and it can be used to promote the products and services in the future too.
- The website www.elotisza.hu receives 1500-2000 visits per month. The first two hits on Google search for the phrase "Living Tisza" (or its Hungarian match) is the www.elotisza.hu.
- More than 2000 consumers get a weekly newsletter on Living Tisza products and services. The consumers regularly use the possibility to pre-order products for weekly markets.
- Living Tisza products are sold in 2 Budapest markets. Shops selling the trade mark products will be soon contracted in Budapest, Nyiregyhaza, Szolnok, Debrecen, Sarospatak. Home delivery services are being organized in these cities.
- Touristic package offers on rural and incentive tourism are being compiled and will be sold for companies, families, individuals.
Alliance for the Living Tisza