Organic food is the future

“Master food” Užice resented at the fair of organic products in Nuremberg, in addition to frozen fruit, its brand – Mountain Fruits Organic jams and made 50 business contacts. Deliveries of trial quantities to foreign countries and negotiations with domestic trade chains are in progress. He wants to expand the network of subcontractors, both in the production of organic raspberries and in new projects.

Uzice-based “Master food” is one of 11 Serbian producers of organic products that presented itself at the recently held largest international fair of organic food “Biofach 2020” in Nuremberg, Germany, which gathered about 3.5 thousand exhibitors from all continents. During the Fair, Serbian companies realized over 550 business contacts, and the export of 2.5 million euros was agreed. “Master food” has made over 50 business contacts, and exhibited its range of organic products: deep-frozen raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, forest mix, fruit mix, as well as its new product – organic jams Mountain Fruits Organic on which they worked in the past year in cooperation with professors from the Faculty of Agriculture in Belgrade, according to a new recipe, preparing for this fair. All the ingredients of the jams are organic, there is no added sugar and currently, together with the organic frozen fruit, trial quantities are being sent to Dubai, Australia, England, Switzerland and Austria. Talks are also underway with large domestic retail chains about the possible placement of this range of products.

“Master food” has existed and worked since 2007 and was engaged in the purchase and processing of berries, primarily raspberries. Initially, the capacity of the refrigerator was from 20 to 50 tons per year, and now it is 1,200 tons, of which the organic program is about 50 percent. Apart from the domestic one, “Master food” has been placing products on the EU market since last year. The turning point for this company in 2018 was remembered for the poor purchase and quality of the crop, primarily raspberries, and then it moved in another direction of its development – the purchase and processing of organic berries.

For our subcontractors, we did group certification at the certification company that accompanies us. These are manufacturers who have already been involved in conventional production, and now want and want to try something new. First, our agronomist comes to the plot to assess whether organic production can be carried out there and whether the plot is out of reach of pollutants and landfills. Conventional fruit plantations, too, cannot be in the circle of organic surfaces. After that, we do the certification of plantations, so that the production is controlled from planting seedlings, cultivation, processing, to soil analysis, irrigation water, use of organic means for nutrition and plant protection, and finally, the products themselves. When the manufacturer goes all that way, he receives a certificate that his product is organic, and there are several accredited houses in the world for certification – explains Svetislav Mladjenovic and points out:

– We provide our subcontractors with all the necessary logistics in their orchards, they have a secure placement and already know the minimum price at which we will buy the products. In 2019, we paid 223 dinars for a kilogram of organic raspberries, which was 70 dinars more than a conventional raspberry – says Mladjenović.

“Master food” also buys forest fruits, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and pomegranates from pickers from the entire area of ​​the Zlatibor district, which are certified as organic products. For three years now, he has been present as a visitor at fairs of organic products, and this year he exhibited in Nuremberg with the great support of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss Export Promotion Program (SIPPO) and the National Association of Serbia Organica.

“Master food” wants to continue to invest in the development of its brand – jams Mountain Fruits Organic, to increase the number of subcontractors who will produce organic berries, and in due course and vegetables and accordingly promote organic production which is a real chance in the development of Uzice , but also the whole of Serbia, claims our interlocutor.

– Organic production is completely healthy and safe for people and the environment. Yields are the same as in conventional production, profits are at least 30 percent higher, and subsidies from the state and local government for organic production are far higher.

– In Serbia and in the Užice region itself, there is a significant potential for organic production, and currently it is less than one percent in the entire country, which is devastating. Uzice has the opportunity to be recognizable for organic food, and the state is very interested in supporting such producers. We are grateful to the local self-government for recognizing this opportunity through the allocation of subsidies.