Victoria Group at the “Food for Europe” agricultural forum
The introduction of standards and the vertical integration of agriculture is imperative in the process of domestic agricultural development and its positioning on the market of the European Union – this was one of the conclusions on the first day of the “Food for Europe” (“Hrana za Evropu”) forum. This agricultural forum, which takes place in Vršac on November 4 and 5 for the sixth time, is organized by the Economics Institute and the Serbian Association of Agricultural Economists and is attended by the representatives of the government, the scientific community, agricultural and food companies.
In his introductory speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia, Branislav Nedimović, emphasized the importance of working on increasing storage and processing capacities, as well as directing the agricultural measures and tools primarily towards the sectors in which Serbia can be competitive. He specified that the implementation of quality marks for high quality products made from domestic raw materials, is one of the mechanisms for the improvement of quality and competitiveness on both domestic and international markets. The minister also announced that the assets from the IPARD funds will be available next year.
In the panel discussion “Serbian agriculture as seen by the managers” (“Srpska agroprivreda viđena očima menadžera”), Goran Borčak, Commercial Director of Victoria Logistic, a Victoria Group member company, pointed out that it is essential to create a connection between primary agricultural production and the processing industry and to establish a quality system in order to increase competitiveness in the domestic agricultural sector and agriculture and food export.
“The importance of the implementation of standards was first recognized by the processing industry, but the standardization and quality management in the primary sector are now in focus, since product quality control actually begins in the fields. Victoria Logistic follows current trends in standardization, as well as market requirements, so we are including a growing number of our partners from whom we buy soybeans and sunflower seeds into the certification process. Through long-term partnerships and planning, the agricultural producer can count on a definite placement, and the processor can count on the stability of delivery of raw materials of a corresponding quality”, said Goran Borčak.
On the first day of the forum, the panel discussions dealt with agricultural politics, the improvement of Serbian agriculture, agriculture in the context of EU integrations, and the issue of agricultural field ownership, while the second day will be devoted to the topic of food safety.