Serbia: Improving Quality in the Meat Sector
In 2013, FAO started this new collaboration with the aim to upgrade quality and safety in Serbia’s meat sector and allow product differentiation and compliance with food safety and animal welfare regulations. The country’s meat sector faces competitiveness issues in the context of the EU accession.
The objective of the project is to upgrade quality and safety standards in Serbia’s meat sector, which will benefit local consumers as well as improve export market opportunities for producers.
With this project, a different and innovative approach was taken, with the introduction of an industry quality label – similar to France’s label rouge aimed to raise the profile of high quality local products. While the Code of Practice of the public label was already agreed between industry players – including EBRD clients – and the Ministry of Agriculture, 2016 should mark the launch of the label, which requires the issuance of a ministerial decree.
The project will include a report on the current legislative status of the meat sector, study tours, workshops and trainings.
At a Glance:
- Agriculture plays a significant role in Serbia’s economy.
- It is their only sector with a positive foreign trade balance.
- It accounts for 10% of their GDP.
- It accounts for 24% of the country’s total exports.
- It provides more than 20% of all employment.
- A third of their GAP is made up of livestock.
- Half of the country’s 63,000 farms are involved in the sector.
- Many of these farms produce pork, poultry and beef.
- At present, only 6 of 982 meat-processing facilities are eligible for exports to the EU.