Montenegro: Upgrading Meat Quality StandardsMontenegro: Upgrading Meat Quality Standards

Montenegro: Upgrading Meat Quality Standards
Montenegro’s agricultural sector, which contributes 10 percent to GDP, is dominated by livestock and meat production. Nearly half of all agricultural production comes from the subsector, particularly cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs – and yet more than half of domestically consumed meat is imported. The country has been exposed to major animal disease outbreaks such as Mad Cow and Foot and Mouth disease, which have hurt consumer confidence and limited export opportunities.

Meanwhile, it has become increasingly important for agricultural producers and food processors to comply with higher safety and quality standards to meet consumer demands and remain competitive. Also, the meat sector in Montenegro presents an important potential for adoption of origin-based quality labels (Geographical Indications) with a series of traditional products coming from specific parts of the territory with high quality recognition. Montenegro has already adopted legislation allowing the registration and protection of GIs at the national level, but no GIs are yet registered under this new law. Registering and promoting a GI is a good way to add value to agricultural products in sectors where production is fragmented.

Raising quality standards while preserving tradition

Through the project “'Upgrade of Meat Quality Standards in Montenegro and Exchange of Lessons Learned in the Western Balkans”, FAO and the EBRD are working with the Montenegrin Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to support the country’s meat sector by improving safety compliance and developing quality labels to increase competitiveness. Cooperation between governmental institutions, private sector companies, civil society and research centers in the development higher food safety and quality standards has been boosted. The project has facilitated discussions for the establishment of bylaws and the inclusion of derogations and flexibility measures for traditional meat products. These measures are significantly important to provide a way to achieve more variegated food production, while maintaining an equal level of food safety. Around this objective, the project has built institutional and producer capacities in food safety and quality on compliance to the specific rules to be applied for traditional meat products.

The first Montenegrin GIs

In parallel, FAO and the EBRD have been working with agribusinesses, small producers, and public authorities to establish the first GIs in the meat sector. The meat products proposed for GI registration are the Crnogorska Goveđa pršuta (Montenegrin dried beef meat) and Crnogorska Stelja (Montenegrin dried and smoked sheep meat). To this end, support has been provided for the development GI product specifications and the necessary steps for GI registration.  Training and other capacity building activities have been carried out for public authorities on registration and protection of GIs, and for private stakeholders on management of the GI status and marketing of the GI products. The preservation and promotion of traditional products through this type of labelling can be an important asset for all stakeholders involved, creating conditions for growth and differentiation on both domestic and regional markets.

The main project outputs are: 

Public-private policy dialogue on food safety and quality 

  • Technical workshops with sector representatives and experts;
  • Development of a roadmap to implement food safety and quality standards in the meat sector;
  • Knowledge exchanges to other EU countries for public and private representatives
Development of GIs for traditional meat products 
  • Development of an inventory on national traditional products
  • National consumer survey on on product reputations and GI perception
  • Establishment of a Code of Practice for the pilot products and management of a Control Plan
  • Trainings and knowledge exchanges on GI registration for public authorities and producers 
Dissemination of lessons learned in food safety and quality ad GI locally and regionally 
  • Dissemination of project publications and awareness raising materials
  • Participation of national stakeholders in related conferences in the region 

Project leader

Lisa Paglietti:

Useful Resources
document title
Consumer Protection Survey in Montenegro and neighboring countries download
Flexibility Comparative Report download
Flexibility Guidelines_ENG download
Flexibility Guidelines_MNE download
Inventory of traditional products from Montenegro download
Meat sector Sector Analysis Part 1 download
Meat sector Sector Analysis Part 2 download
Qualitative survey: hotels, restaurants, and retail chains download
Report from study to Austria on flexibility provisions download
News Articles
document title
New guidelines for Montenegrin meat producers: flexibility and good hygiene view

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Meetings & Workshops

14 December, 2028

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

08 March, 2018

Montenegro: Upgrading Meat Quality Standards
  See Meeting

09 January, 2018

Georgia: Support to Sustainable Value Chains through the Development of Geographical Indications in the Dairy Sector
  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
  See Meeting

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