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30 April 2021
Romanian farmers traditionally sold their products at markets in towns and cities. Unfortunately, many of those markets have fallen prey to mafia-like practices with middlemen controlling access while also importing cheaper goods from outside the country.
Roadside stalls are a fallback, but come with a different challenge: an increasingly cashless society. So, Mastercard teamed up with navigation app Waze and McCann Bucharest to literally put farmers and small food producers on the map, and offer them the tools they need to take card payments. Farmers, bakers, beekeepers, cheesemakers and other roadside vendors can sign up for Piata la Drum, or 'Roadside Market.' They're then listed on Waze with a profile and description of what they're selling, so drivers can easily locate their stall.
Yes, Mastercard stands to gain from signing up new merchants. But they're also helping small business owners bypass a corrupt market system, attract new customers and enter the digital economy. On the consumer side, Piata la Drum allows people to find vendors they might've otherwise missed, giving them access to fresh food while supporting their local economy.