Local market

 

Local market of organic products is still underdeveloped despite signicant positive changes in the recent years. Awareness of consumers started to rise as well, but mostly in bigger urban environment where organic products are mostly present. Domestic market is growing parameter and open for organic food. Organic fresh produces are in favourable condition since they are less imported to Serbia, although lately this changes and shows increase as well. Therefore domestic producers have fewer opportunities to form prices. On the other hand if import of organic produces is greater, domestic consumers will turn to them even if they have domestic substitutes available. For example many retailers are also distributors of organic food. Still domestic consumers are price sensitive and fresh organic fruits and vegetables are too expensive for average buyer.Big breakthrough for some years now was when these products could have been found on the shelves of majority of retailers. This way they have become available to most of consumers who could have bought organic produces only in several retail shops or some green markets. Online shopping becomes available as well. First specialised market of organic products started to work in mid-2011 in New Belgrade as a result of cooperation between Public Company City markets and Serbia Organica as a pilot project that soon showed necessity of such place for producers and consumers. From 2015 City markets of Belgrade started organic caravans that are periodically set on various Belgrade markets. The biggest demand for organic products is noticed in the bigger cities due to buying power although there are frequent buyers .

Prices of primary and processed products are increased for about 50-300% in comparison to conventional, depending on variety, market position and seasonality. Recently imported organic products are more present on the market, mainly processed but fresh products as well. Prices of some imported processed organic products are lower than of domestic, still this is not always the case. Organic fresh products for now come from domestic production and products of plant origin dominate. Due to lower offer on the market, fresh fruits are being imported. Only in 2015 appeared the rst organic meat on domestic market. Bigger retail chains showed interest and demanded bigger quantities, but domestic producers are not capable to provide continuity and quantity leading to rise of import.

Promotion of organic products has been intensied in the past years, but national logo of organic products is still not enough promoted. Consumers who have heard for organic products have problems in recognizing them, unless they are marked and visible on shelves. Serbia Organica realised educational promotional campaigns in retails shops in order to raise awareness of consumers on impact of organic products to health and environment, still future activities should be directed toward these aims and advantages of organic products.

The database of organic producers and processors of organic products

Supporting the increase of sales of organic products on the domestic market and promoting organic production

In order to promote the current offer and increase the sales of organic products, as well as to raise public awareness of in organic products, Serbia Organica, with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy Project, has launched the activity of issuing promotional catalogs containing current offers and sales outlets for organic products. Catalogs are distributed through social networks, by e-mail, they are also available on Serbia Organica website and the websites of our partners, and printed copies are distributed through retail channels and their chains.

Look at here promotional catalogs:

 

The database of organic producers and processors of organic products

Unified producers and processors with data on the types of primary and processed organic products, their quantities, the standards for which they are certified, and other important information will be the content of the databse of organic production in Serbia at which Serbia Organika started to work, with the support of the USAID Project for  Competitive economy. The database will be placed under the new Serbia Organics website, which will be set up with the base by the beginning of the next year.

The goal of creating the base is networking of manufacturers and processors, encouraging their business cooperation which will result in:

  • Targeted planning of primary production,
  • Improving production and sales
  • Improving the quality of raw materials

By connecting producers and processors and improving their cooperation, we want to:

  • Help sell and compete with primary organic products,
  • Encourage domestic primary organic agricultural production,
  • Increase the competitiveness of exports of organic primary and processed products,
  • Through the planning of agricultural production in accordance with the needs of the processing industry, to reduce the import of organic raw materials needed for the processing industry,
  • Increase the visibility of the Serbian organic industry.

Majority of stores selling organic products are located in Belgrade and Novi Sad. Organic food may be found on some green markets, in specialised health food stores and in the retail chains. The survey conducted by the NASO in 2016 shows that consumers often associate organic products with natural and unsprayed products, and often identify them with the ones grown in small gardens in a traditional manner. The consumers are generally insufciently informed, except when it comes to the term certication of organic production, and they also lack knowledge about how they can identify organic products. On the other hand, there are consumers who think organic farming is something newfangled or trendy and have no trust in certicates.

Value can be added to organic products by insisting on their naturalness and environmental protection. For further development of the local organic market, strong and intensive campaigns with clear communication strategy, directed towards target consumer groups, are denitely needed. Based on the market survey done by the NASO, the average buyer of organic products in Serbia is a woman aged from 25 to 45, followed by people with medical condition and re-convalescents. Because of all this, and considering the limited volume and value of organic products, and the moderate prospects for domestic growth in the future, their placement on the international market assumes even higher priority for producers.

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