Raspberries are also dominant in the export of organic products

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In 2021, this fruit broke the record for conventional production, and significantly exceeded wheat in terms of the value of deliveries to foreign markets.

The value of exports of organic products from Serbia has increased by more than 15 times in 10 years.

– For the first time, these data became part of the information system of the Customs Administration in 2012, when the total export of organic products amounted to 3.74 million euros, while in 2021 it was 57.4 million euros – they say in the Association “Serbia Organica”.

According to the association, last year, compared to 2020, the value of exports of organic products increased by 53 percent, and 93.3 percent in two years. In 2021, 17,622 tons of organic products were exported from Serbia, and it is interesting that raspberries dominated in this type of production as well. Market experts point out that the number of inquiries for Serbian organic raspberries from America and Canada has been growing lately. According to the latest data, this fruit is in second place in terms of the value of exports of agricultural products and in conventional production.

The analysis on the export of the agriculture and food industry of Serbia in 2021, which was recently presented by the analyst Vojislav Stanković, shows that the export of frozen raspberries was 426 million dollars. According to the results, that fruit is right behind corn (557 million), and ahead of wheat (255 million dollars).

The extremely good purchase price of raspberries last season had a great influence on this balance. When it comes to organic production, the highest value, of 45 million euros, was achieved in the sale of frozen organic fruit, mostly frozen berries – raspberries (32.6 million euros), blackberries (about five million) and blueberries (1.8 million).

In addition to frozen fruit, our producers also had a good placement of frozen cherries (3.4 million), and plums were also in demand. The association points out that the second place was the export of organic dried fruits – strawberries, raspberries, plums, blueberries, blackberries, currants, in the total value of six million euros, followed by fruit concentrates and purees in the total value of 3.15 million euros).

Of the 33 countries to which we exported organic products last year, the most were sold to buyers in Germany – for 18.25 million euros, which is almost a third of the total value of exports. Important partners were America, the Netherlands, France, Poland, Canada, Austria, Italy…

Ivana Simić, Secretary General of the “Serbia Organics” association, told “Politika” that the export of frozen organic berries has always been the most important for our country.

– The areas under organic vegetables are still small, and there is potential and demand, as well as medicinal and spice plants whose areas have increased by about 50 percent in one year, which was reflected in last year’s exports – she says.

Recently, there has been talk of shortening the conversion period, which could also affect the increase of organic crops. Although exports are growing significantly and there is a demand, the number of producers has not changed significantly, and approximately 6,150 people in our country are engaged in this business.

The standard time period for land conversion is prescribed by domestic regulations – for plantations of annual plant species for at least two or three years for perennials.

The regulations clearly state that if funds that are not allowed in organic production have not been used on the land plot for at least three years, the producer can submit a request to the Ministry of Agriculture to shorten the conversion period. Of course, our interlocutor explains, that must be supported by certain evidence.

– There are really a lot of areas in Serbia that have the potential to get out of the conversion period quickly, especially in hilly and mountainous areas, so it is reminded that there are procedures in which it is possible to do that – our interlocutor explained.

However, she notes that farmers who intend to engage in organic production must first conclude a contract with one of the authorized control organizations. Only when the system recognizes them and registers them as organic producers can they submit a request to shorten the conversion period, Politika writes.