Serbia: Green light to EU meat exports

After three decades, Serbia is now allowed to export chicken meat to the EU.

Close-up of a chicken that looks very serious.
©Max Kleinen

This week a Serbian delegation headed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management Branislav Nedimovic made a working visit to Brussels. They  attended a meeting at the EU’s food safety department and secured the green light for launching a procedure for allowing Serbian chicken meat exports to the Union as “all the preparations have been completed.” The Minister also announced that Serbian pork would be exported to the EU after an inspection procedure in February 2022 and the necessary approval. 

President of the Business Association of Serbian Poultry Breeders Rade Skoric said that being allowed to export chicken meat to the EU is a big opportunity, but he thinks the production has yet to meet all the requirements and standards. “It is good that the opportunity to export to another market is coming, but I do not think exports will start soon as there are many obstacles to overcome, both at the state level and production-wise,” Mr. Skoric told the Beta news agency. 

Mr. Skoric also added that chicken exports to the EU had been discussed for a long time but that the preparations were not that quick. The President of the Poultry Breeders Association explained that some regulations for chicken meat had been adopted, adding that investments were necessary to equip slaughterhouses, reach the necessary standards, obtain the necessary certification, and check how all of it is done in practice. The common EU market will soon be open for Serbian meat producers, but they will have to prepare for another challenge: Major competition from the poultry producers of EU member states. The prices are low thus the profitability of such export is uncertain.

There are 350 thousand farms in Serbia involved in animal husbandry including poultry breeding. Even though the majority of these farms are not specialized in poultry per se, poultry production is increasing in Serbia. For the first time ever consumption of poultry meat (18 kilograms/capita) surpassed the consumption of pig meat (16.7 kg/capita) in Serbia. In 2020 production of poultry meat amounted to 115 thousand tons. In the first six months of 2021 the import of poultry meat equalled to €7 million and the export was worth €5.3 million.  Find out more about poultry sector in Serbia our previous article here and here is more information about the pig sector. There are also recent updates from the Hungarian meat sector. 

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But wait, there’s more.

The Budapest-Belgrade team brings you curated newsflashes every Friday afternoon. These are quick, digestible, to-the-point briefings about all the latest developments in the Serbian and Hungarian agro sectors.

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