Serbia: Strengthening quality standards in the agrifood sectorSerbia: Strengthening quality standards in the agrifood sector

Serbia: Strengthening quality standards in the agrifood sector

Since January 2014, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have increasingly focused on improving food safety and quality standards in the Western Balkans and Western Caucasus (Montenegro, Serbia) to boost the competitiveness of the region’s agribusinesses. They have promoted inclusion of smallholders in local and regional value chains as well as greater market participation. FAO and the EBRD have been consolidating the development of quality and origin-based labels in both regions, strengthening the capacity of associations to access markets for their certified products and promoting public and private quality labels and certified Geographical Indication (GI) products. Emerging market opportunities include those in the tourism and hotel, restaurant and catering (HORECA) industries.  

This project – “Strengthening quality standards in the agrifood sector in Serbia"— aims to make the country’s agrifood sector more efficient and inclusive, and to facilitate public-private activities on quality and origin-linked labels, consolidation and development.

FAO and the EBRD continue to transfer and share knowledge, from supporting changes in the law on food quality and safety standards, to promoting public-private policy dialogue, to developing capacity on strengthening food safety systems.

The project has carried out the following activities:

Enhancing producers' knowledge

·         Conducted trainings on GI/Serbian Quality Label (SQL) market development of certified products and quality assurance

·         Held a technical meeting on quality labelling and related procedures

·         Supported  the creation of a fruit and vegetable association interested in applying for the SQL label

Assessing quality and reputation of selected products, developing internal certification controls and building partnerships with key market players, retailers and processors

·         Provided technical support for the European Union GI candidacy of “Arilje raspberry”

·         Facilitated Nectar to become a member of the GI sour cherry association

·         Supported the certification of Oblacinka from Oblacina sour cherry

·         Conducted one-on-one technical discussions with the sectors and firms interested and engaged in the SQL

Strengthening Serbian SQL institutional and food safety systems

·         Provided technical assistance in the revision of the SQL decree and evaluation application procedures

·         Provided technical assistance in the quality assurance with the Ministry of Agriculture, the certification and accreditation bodies, and in SQL assessment and criteria development

·         Provided technical support in the drafting and adoption of the flexibility bylaw for plant origin, building on previous work in other sectors (fruit and vegetables, ajvar, jams, pickled products)

Promoting GIs and SQL awareness

·         Belgrade Food Show, Novi Sad Fair – marketing of GI and SQL products

·         Arlam Art Festival – GI raspberry promotion

·         Press conference – launch of GI products

·         Development of GI communication plan

·         Development of promotional ideas (photoshoot, videos, TV campaigns, social media)

·         60th International Meat Industry meeting – promotion of SQL concept

·         Development of GI association websites for Arilje raspberry and Oblacinka from Oblacina sour cherry to strengthen marketing 

·         Organized and delivered various technical workshops on quality

Project Leader:

Lisa Paglietti:

Food Safety documents
document title
a) Rulebook flexibility plant origin products published in the Gazette in February 2020 download
b) Promoting Quality Products Through a Quality Label (October 2019) download
c) Ariljska Malina: benefits and label and EU perspective and potential, Ariljska malina: dobrobiti oznaka kval iteta, EU perspektiva i potencijali (November 2019) download
d) Ariljska Malina: benefits and label and EU perspective and potential Agenda (November 2019) download
Quality and Labelling technical documents
document title
e) Food Quality Schemes: Effectiveness and Optimization (October 2019) download
f) Food Quality Schemes: Effectiveness and Optimization Agenda (October 2019) download
g) How to win mind and hearts of Serbian consumers? (October 2019) download
h) Practical steps to evaluate the superior quality (January 2020) download
i) Improving and promoting quality products, Srpski kvalitet kvalitetom do kupca (October 2019) download
j) The benefits of GI Arilje (October 2019) download
Promotional events
document title
k) Arlam Art Festival (August 2019)
l) Belgrade Food Show/ Novi Sad Fair (May 2019)
m) Press Conference to promote launch of GI Arilje raspberries and Oblacinska sour cherry products (September 2019) view
n) 60th International Meat Industry meeting (September 2019)
o) Press Conference to promote launch of GI Arilje raspberries and Oblacinska sour cherry products Agenda (September 2019)
document title
p) Serbia steps up partnership with FAO and EBRD stronger agriculture (January 2018) view
q) Serbian and Montenegrin producers meet global berry industry's movers and shakers (March 2019) view
r) Market standouts: Seminar host seminar on advantages on quality food (October 2019) view
s) EBRD and FAO continue raising food safety standards in Serbia while preserving traditions (April 2020) view
t) Food labelling encourages local economies and sustainable development
u) Serbian juice maker sourcing certified Serbian fruits , seeking edge in market (October 2019) view
document title
v) Ariljska Malina promotional video view
w) Supporting Serbia's sour cherry production view
document title

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