“12th Ethno Food and Drink Fair”, 22-25 November 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia

Thirteen (13) producers of meat, dairy products, honey, herbs, juices, marmalade and brandy products, from the cross-border regions “Drina-Tara” and “Drina-Sava”, from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro presented themselves on a joint branded stand at the regional manifestation “12th Ethno Food and Drink Fair” held in the period from 22-25 November 2017 in Belgarde, Serbia.

The aim of the regional manifestation “12th Ethno Food and Drink Fair” is to support small-scale producers, to give them voice and visibility, as well as to provide them with the tools needed to be able to do business in better conditions. The primary goal of this event is the joint presentation and cooperation with other value chain actors in order to enhance the visibility and the knowledge of local producers from the cross-border regions “Drina –Tara” and “Drina –Sava”. Through exhibition, workshops and tasting sessions, this Fair demonstrated how food and traditions can be drivers of the economic development.

The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe, within the SWG GIZ project “Rural development through integrated forest and water resources management in Southeast Europe: Rural perspectives: qualification, reintegration and (self) employment” supported the organization of this regional manifestation, which was organized by the Regional Development Agency Zlatibor.

The producers were satisfied with the joint promotion since they realized that this kind of synergy has provided them a higher visibility. The visual identity of the stand has reflected the natural characteristics of the cross-border regions and promoted regional food, drinks and values. The joint presentation of cross-border regions “Drina-Tara” and “Drina-Sava” has caused a synergy effect and therefore the effect of visibility was broader, the income was higher, and the networking and experience exchange has resulted with new ideas for joint presentation in the future.

Four (4) exhibitors have received awards from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce:

-Special award for brandy with 100 herbs- Dusan and Cana Joskimovic, Bijelo Polje, Montenegro;
-Award for buckwheat flower – Agricultural household Zeljko Macanovic, Pljevlja, Montenegro;
-Award for Goat cheese in oak bark and cork, Agricultural household Budimirovic, Bogatic, Serbia;
-Company for processing and conserving fruit and vegetables “Sofi voce”, Aleksandar Varaklic, Prijepolje, Serbia.

Two presentations of local traditional products from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro were specially designed:
-MOUNTAIN TEA on the joint stand for the cross-border regions “Drina-Tara” and “Drina-Sava”- tasting of traditional tea from medicinal herbs in combination with products of buckwheat and berry fruit jams from the mountains and valleys of the cross-border regions.
-THE TASTE OF MOUNTAIN on the central stand “Ethno Backyard”: preparation, presentation and tasting of “ethno classic cocktails” (local products in classic cocktails) and mountain snacks (jelly with kajmak and nettle, cheese and Zlatibor prosciutto, buckwheat cake with raspberry from the Lim Valley).

Dragica Ojdanić from the village Ravni, Uzice last year received support from the City of Uzice in the provision of the basic goat heard, and for the first time she is participating at the Fair with her selection of goat cheese. “I would like to send a message to all young farmers that if they want to work, to network, and to use all available support provided from different funds, they can achieve good results in short time. The goat cheese I am presenting was awarded this year at the regional manifestation ‘XVI Days of Pljevlja Cheese’. I hope that I will successfully promote my products at this fair and that the new knowledge I gain will help me to improve the business of my farm and cooperatives Ravanjski Sladun”.

“This is a unique opportunity for us from the cross-border region of “Drina-Tara” to present the products of our region. Women’s initiative COD “Luna”, Rudo at the Fair will promote products from raspberry from the Lima River valley such as sweets, juices, marmalades, and sweets from other types of fruits. We mainly produce on the traditional way, while juices and marmalade are made on the mini line procured under the SWG GIZ Grant scheme”, stated Svetlana Vuković, COD “Luna”, Rudo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“This Fair is a unique opportunity to present products, culture, tradition and the countryside of our beautiful Mačva. We are processing our fruit and vegetables in traditional way and every year at the fair we have more and more new consumers which is one of the goal of the fair. We are the winners of many awards and our products are rated as top quality”, stated Zoran Cačić from the agricultural household “Gacica magaza” from Bogatic, Serbia.