Eleven Dutch companies at the largest international agriculture fair of the West Balkans

Eleven companies at the Orange Pavilion, a panel on the local sourcing of fruits and vegetables - Report from the 2023 Novi Sad Agriculture Fair

A photo of the Dutch embassy colleagues standing in front of the Orange Pavilion at the expo.
Beeld: ©Bojana Arsic

Today is the last day of the 90th International Agriculture Fair in Novi Sad – and Dutch agriculture was present in force. At the Orange Pavilion, eleven Dutch companies participated as exhibitors and met with visitors, potential clients and business partners from Serbia, the wider Balkan region, and the world.

The Novi Sad Fair has a long and venerated history. The Netherlands has been present at the fair with the trademark Orange Pavilion since 2007, and this year, Dutch company representatives were among 1,100 other exhibitors from 25 countries. In line with the regional character of the fair, the pavilion also hosted the colleagues of the economic departments of the  Dutch embassies from the entire region, including from Serbia, Hungary, Albania, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Aside from hosting visitors at the Orange Pavilion, the Dutch delegation participated in productive and informative panels, including a workshop organized by the Netherlands Soft Fruit Solutions project on modern growing techniques.

The LAN Hungary-Serbia Team, the organizers of the Dutch exhibition, also held a panel at the fair, titled ”Local sourcing of fruits and vegetables”. In his opening speech, Agriculture Counsellor of the Netherlands for Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Montenegro, Koen van Ginneken, highlighted that the fragility of global food supply chains came into light following the COVID-19 pandemic and the War in Ukraine, and that the local sourcing of the food supply is not just the source of a country’s food autonomy, but it also creates local jobs and helps with environmental conservation goals in an era of a changing climate. Mr. Ginneken also highlighted the importance of further cooperation between producers, using the right plant varieties and additional investments in storage capactities.  The panel attracted a large audience and started thoughtful conversations.

The Dutch Orange Pavilion was a popular destination in the exhibition hall, which many stakeholders from the agriculture and food industries, as well as businesses, growers’ organizations and governmental bodies visited – Among others, Serbian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Jelena Tanasković, and Defense Minister and ex-mayor of Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević.