USAID COOPERATION FOR GROWTH PROJECT

Food Safety and Export Procedures at Agro Belgrade Fair

From 30 January to 1 February 2020 in Belgrade, Agro Belgrade international fair was held as the leading trade fair and conference event in the field of fruit growing, viticulture and vegetable growing for the Western Balkans and Southeastern Europe, bringing together major companies and most of the Serbian agricultural cooperatives. Agro Belgrade was organized with support from the USAID Competitive Economy Project, while USAID Cooperation for Growth Project contributed with organization of one of the panels.

The discussion on the topic of “Inspections – food safety and export procedures” was moderated by Sanela Lukic, our Business Environment Expert, while the panelists – Nenad Vujovic, Assistant Minister and Head of Agricultural Inspection, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Ivan Tomasev, Head of Border Phytosanitary Inspection Unit, Plan Protection Directorate (MoA), Sladjana Lukic, Head of Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine Department, Plan Protection Directorate (MoA), Vladimir Milosavljevic, Owner and CEO, Dotika and Branko Todorovic, Head of Customs Department, Milsped – talked about challenges that the Serbian exporters face and improvements in the areas of food safety and export. After the useful and encouraging talk about the current situation, ongoing activities and plans for the future, the panelists agreed that simplified procedures, digitalization, timely and well informed exporters and infrastructure development are key factors for Serbia to focus on to enable the easier export of fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables. As the most promising recent developments for improving the food safety and export, the panelists highlighted work of national reference laboratories, constant adjustment of our legislation to that of the EU and work on digitalization of procedures and increase of export traffic capacity on our borders.

This panel was part of the overall activities of our Project on improving the business environment for Serbian SME’s including, among other, support to digitalization and streamlining the work of inspections, while strengthening the voluntary compliance of businesses.

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