Serbia: Improving Food Quality and Safety in the Meat SectorSerbia: Improving Food Quality and Safety in the Meat Sector

Serbia’s meat sector is an important contributor to the economy, with half of the country’s farms raising livestock and poultry for domestic consumption and export. Yet with the possibility of EU accession and WTO membership, there are considerable improvements the industry can make in terms of food safety and quality standards. Meeting standards is not enough to be competitive on the international market, however; products must have an additional appeal to consumers. 

Through the project “Improving Food Quality and Safety Standards in Serbia's Meat Sector”, FAO and the EBRD are providing support to Serbia’s meat sector to support the development of a more efficient and inclusive meat value chain in the country as well as support the launch of a national quality label to differentiate and market high quality meat products. 

Flexibility to preserve tradition

The project has facilitated public-private dialogue on food quality standards, safety and hygiene raising awareness and building capacity through trainings, workshops and production of technical papers and has supported the development of national flexibility measures and derogations for traditional and small meat producers. Flexibility measures and derogations are in fact important for adapting the requirements for certain meat products and in particular to enable  the  continued  use  of  traditional  methods  of  production,  processing  and  distribution of food, to preserve or accommodate   the   needs   of   food   businesses   situated   in   regions   that   are   subject to geographical constraints, and to small food businesses, for which  national measures shall apply only to the construction, layout and equipment of the establishments. 

The Srpski Kvalitet label

After evaluations of local consumer expectations through consumer surveys, it was assessed that a public Serbian quality label for high quality products would be more trusted than a solely private one. To meet these expectations, the project has supported the creation of a public national voluntary quality label, “Srpski Kvalitet”. Before a quality label could be created, a related legislation had to be formulated. FAO, the EBRD, the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection (MAEP) and the meat industry worked together toward the development of a decree, which passed at the end of 2016. This new label focuses on domestic meat, from animals that are raised in Serbia, with GMO free feed, being this a requisite increasingly important for consumers. According to the decree, applications rights for the new label should come from an Association (of producers/processors). To this end, the project has also supported the establishment of the Serbian Meat Quality Label Association, which registered in October 2016, composed by both large agribusiness companies and smaller producers. Thanks to these efforts, in May 2017 eight Serbian meat products have obtained the labeling. 

The project has been carrying out the following activities: 

Support to the development and implementation of flexibility measures in food safety in the meat sector 

  •  Organization of multi-stakeholder training workshops raise awareness on food safety and quality standards, including animal welfare 
  •  Preparation of bylaws for derogations on traditional and small meat producers
  •  In-country  training  for  inspectors  on  specific rules  for  traditional  products 
  •  In-country  trainings  for  producers  and  processors on food safety and HACCP standards rules  for  traditional  products    

Development of a public voluntary quality standard and label 

  •  Study tours for producers on quality labels 
  •  Development of guidelines for traditional meat products  
  •  Preparation of decree on national label “Serbian quality
  •  Creation of the Serbian Meat Quality Association 
  •  Launch of the label and registration of first meat products 



Project Leader:

Lisa Paglietti: Lisa.Paglietti@fao.org

Useful Resources
document title
List of Products Awarded with Serbia Quality Label download
Ministry webpage on Serbian quality label view
National Forum on Flexibility download
Report on study tour to Austria download
News Articles
document title
New quality label to raise profile of Serbian meats view
TV broadcast on Serbian Quality Label view

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Meetings & Workshops

14 December, 2028

Regional: Supporting National and Private Sector Capacities in Sustainable Agricultural and Bioenergy Investments
  See Meeting

07 May, 2022

Regional: Monitoring the Adoption of Key Sustainable Climate Technologies in the Agri-food Sector
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12 December, 2021

Ukraine: African Swine Fever – Risk awareness-raising and risk mitigation
  See Meeting

13 November, 2017

Serbia: Improving Food Quality and Safety in the Meat Sector
  See Meeting

04 September, 2017

Enhancing Grain Market Transparency in Kazakhstan
  See Meeting

13 March, 2017

Turkey: Study tour to France on Geographical Indications
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19 January, 2017

Georgia: Improving food safety in the dairy sector
  See Meeting

08 December, 2016

Kazakhstan: Supporting an Inclusive Dairy Value Chain Development
  See Meeting

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EastAgri is supported by FAO, EBRD, and The World Bank