Chestnuts from China, dates and grapes from Iran, oranges from Greece, tomatoes from Albania and Turkey, peppers larger than a hand…Why aren’t we buying predominantly Serbian fruits and vegetables? Because the best Serbian fruit and vegetables are exported, reports Sputnik.
Fruit and vegetables of disproportionate size are no longer a rare sight in outdoor markets and supermarkets. Often even the taste of this produce is not what we expect or are used to, so what are we really eating?
Rajko Manojlovic, an outdoor market fruit vendor, says that, in winter, the produce is mostly imported, which is not strange, however, come the season, the best fruit in Serbia often ends up in export.
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“Most of the first-class fruit is exported, and fruit that cannot be exported to other countries ends up in our markets. All producers first try to sell to those buyers who offer the biggest amount of money,” says Manojlovic.
Outdoor market vendors say that the fruit and vegetables sold in outdoor markets are fresher than those sold at supermarkets, because the latter keep the produce in cold storage, while the produce sold in outdoor markets is fresh every day. When we go shopping, the most important thing is that the product is fresh and consistent with its natural characteristics.
Director of the Phytosanitary Directorate, Nebojsa Milosavljevic, explains that all fruit and vegetables must meet numerous conditions before they are sold and that, for this reason, frequent checks are carried out. He adds that there are no particular differences in quality between fruit and vegetables sold in outdoor markets to those sold in supermarkets.
According to him, in accordance with the law, every shipment of fresh fruit, vegetables and other vegetable-based products is inspected at border and customs crossings. He also adds that Serbia has enough fruit and vegetables to supply domestic and foreign markets.
About 450,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables are produced in the country, of which about 250,000 tons are exported. Apples, peaches and nectarines top the export list.
This post is also available in: Italiano