E-market for fresh fruits and vegetables in Serbia

As Winston Churchill said, never waste a good crisis! In challenging times one must question the accepted reality because things are not going in the right direction. The loss of well-established market paths made Serbian farmers think in alternative ways. The closure of the gastronomy sector, schools and green markets made the alarms go off in full swing. Rapid answers were needed fast! It turned out the answer was just a click away – After all, what could be faster than the internet?

Fresh fruits and vegetables in a crate
Beeld: ©Mila Mirkovic

Families are gathered together in these troublesome times. Three generations under the same roof resulted in a market solution well out of the comfort zone of elderly. The younger generations introduced social networks and telecommunication portals to the selling of family farm products.

Small-scale businesses and farmers in Serbia never lacked the entrepreneurial spirit. One day the market was closed and the following day they were on social media selling their products. Facebook pages, Instagram pages as well as web sites of PUC “Green Markets” were flooded  with green offers.

This prompt reaction triggered the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture to form a team of experts in order to try to put “Serbia’s electronic fresh market” into the service. The system will link sellers with buyers and delivery services of scarce goods. Transport and storage facilities will also be included in this system.  

Times of crisis in a business sector can often lead to an improvement in the community. Then again, strategic review should not be reserved only for crises and times of trouble but should be the common attitude in the spirit of innovation.

The last question is how to endorse this novelty into the cultural pattern of a society so fond of social gatherings and interactions. How long the e-commerce trend can last in Serbian agriculture is yet to be seen.