Blueberry plantations in Serbia have seen explosive growth in the past five years, and have reached 2,500 hectares in acreage, producing more than 6,000 tons of produce, and the acreage is still rapidly growing. Blueberry plantations are large and use the latest technology and practices in both production and trade.
According to Julka Toskić, Director of Agrobrand and Manager of Serbia Does Fruit platform, Serbia has had a positive blueberry year: “This season was very favorable for blueberry producers and exporters since in Serbia the blueberry harvest comes at least two weeks earlier than in other European countries. The value of exported blueberries in June and July was above 20 million euros. Export markets are diversified and the top export markets were the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Poland, and Russia.”
Serbian produce exporter Dotika wants to set an example when it comes to export diversification and product management, says company owner Vladimir Milosavljevic: “We started buying and exporting fresh fruits to the EU market in 2019, foremost in the markets of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria. By visiting trade fairs throughout Europe, we have established numerous contacts and started our cooperation with foreign partners, who are leading vendors for fruits and vegetables in the aforementioned countries.”
Milosavljevic says Dotaki has been investing in the business through education. “In order to grow our business, we work on the education of our subcontractors on the importance of introducing new technologies, the use of modern fruit varieties, the introduction and implementation of the GLOBAL GAP certificate, and the GRASP add-on required to enter the EU market. Our business with fruit is exclusively export-oriented and in this respect, we see great opportunities. Our goal is to make our products available not only at the wholesale markets across the EU but also in the supermarket chains. It is, therefore, necessary to keep pace with world trends and offer products in appropriate and attractive packaging to create a well-known and recognizable brand.”
The European market is not the only market that is interesting for Serbia. Milosavljevic states that they have managed to export to new markets in the past season as well: “This year, next to the European market, we exported blueberries to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia and raspberries to Dubai. For season 2022 our plan is to expand our business with berries, cherries, and plums to Scandinavian countries and well-established markets EU, Middle East, and Asia.” he concludes.
Dotika, along with other successful Serbian fresh blueberry exporters, is a member of the Serbia Does Fruit platform. The platform has the aim of international promotion of the Serbian fruit industry and represents an effective connection between certified Serbian suppliers and international buyers.