Latvia is situated in the Baltic region along with Estonia, Lithuania and Poland. Jelgava Local Municipality is located in the very heart of Latvia in Zemgale region. It has borders with Republic of Lithuania in the south. It has favourable geographical location – 42 km from Capital City Riga and it surrounds the 4th largest city in Latvia with national importance – Jelgava. Forests cover 26 % of territory of JLM, agricultural land 68 %.
Although its closeness to major cities in Latvia, JLM is considered as a rural municipality. It has the most fertile soils and half of the grain production of Latvia is harvested in JLM – therefore it is called “granary of Latvia”. Traditionally here mainly conventional agricultural is developed in the territory but also biological farming is becoming more and more important as an answer to increasing demand in population and changes of habits. During recent years also role and importance of traditional craftsmanship and small home production has increased. There were several projects implemented to preserve Latvian knowledge of crafts, cooking and other skills. In order to save small production units and help local small and medium-sized farmers and craftsmen, municipality rent rooms (and cover costs of rent) for shop in the city of Jelgava.
The municipality’s main values are weaved with the help of colours into the logo: blue – represents the River Lielupe waters and its tributaries, green – nature and traditional agriculture, gold – family, people and working habits. A foundation for a sustainable future is established when all of these are combined.
In Jelgava City Latvia University of Agriculture with ~ 5000 students is situated. Science comes alongside with traditions and innovations; there are numerous solutions and ideas implemented. For example, biological food for infants, recipes for rye crisps and flakes are being developed as well as innovative packaging technologies of food. Thus science supports local business and entrepreneurship. Apart from that old traditional food recipes are collected as the evidence of deep traditions and possibility to reuse them again.
Taking into account that there are numerous open farms situated in JLM, inhabitants of Jelgava and other cities can come to visit them and follow the full chain of production process – where the grain is grown, where is it milled, how the bread is baked from this grain. The same way also milk production can be followed so even a child knows that milk is not bottled in a supermarket.