Organic food from Serbia conquering the world

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If entire Serbia would produce only organic food, it would not be able to satisfy the needs of both the Serbian and foreign markets – agricultural analyst Branislav Gulan claims.

Gulan says that his statement has a solid basis in the fact that last year Serbia generated 19.6 million EUR from exporting naturally grown produce. He also says that only 2,000 food producers are engaged in such production, and that they grow organic food and vegetables on 15,000 hectares of arable land.

“The share that the land for organic production has in the overall size of arable land in Serbia is only 0.44%. Cereals account for most of the organic production, 32% to be precise. “Organic fruit is grown on 22% of the total arable land, while industrial crops account for 20%. When we compare the value of export and the size of the land under organic production, the potential of organic production is very clear. It comes as no surprise while the demand for organic produce grows year-on-year”, Gulan adds.

He says that Serbia mostly exports organic produce to the EU, namely frozen and dried fruit, predominantly raspberries.

“Most of our organic produce is exported to Germany, the Netherlands, and the US”, Gulan sadds.

“By default, organic produce in Serbia is more expensive. Higher prices aside, the quality is excellent because we are talking about the food that is chemical-free. This is the most important reason why consumers go for organic producers despite the price of certain articles being five times higher than the non-organic ones”, Gulan explains.

Vladimir Vozar from Kisac near Novi Sad is one of the biggest producers of organic food in Serbia and currently owns 15 hectares of land certified for organic production. “I have received very serious offers to export to different markets – from Russia and Germany to Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. We have also received offers from the US and the United Arab Emirates but we decided not to go for them because the entire export procedure is very complicated – we have to have mediators which, in turn, increases payment risks. We have a very solid market and loyal consumers here, in Serbia, so I am not that keen to export as yet”, Vozar says.

(Vecernje Novosti, 05.03.2017)

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