Montenegro and Dutch Trade Opportunities

A recent visit to Montenegro by the agricultural counsellor responsible for Hungary, Serbia, Austria and Montenegro revealed a great focus on traditional produce with the use of innovative new technologies.

The country

Montenegro is a country in southeast Europe and is surrounded by Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and the Adriatic Sea. It has a population of under 650 thousand people. The economy in the country is based mainly around tourism, but that doesn’t mean there is no agricultural sector in this country of 13 thousand square metres.

Agriculture

One of defining agricultural products of Montenegro is pršut (‘prosciutto), originating from the mountain village of Njeguši. To produce this they use a traditional method utilising the mountain’s and the Adriatic Sea’s breeze to dry the ham and give it a distinct Montenegrin taste.

But perhaps less traditional is that until last year Montenegro was importing fresh and chilled hams from the Netherlands in order to produce and meet the demand for pršut. However, last summer local pig producers in cooperation with Hendrix Genetics have started breeding pigs in Montenegro.

This will enable Montenegrin farmers to mark their products with the PGI label (protected geographical indication). Njeguski Prsut will also be the first certified product in Montenegro with TSG label (traditional specialities guaranteed). The combination of traditional production techniques with innovative genetics technology is definitely setting the standard in the Western Balkan region.

Montenegro is also home to Plantaše, the biggest single plot vineyard in Europe. The vineyard surrounded by mountains holds 2310 hectares of top terroir. High quality wine produced here and in the region is exported worldwide.

Dutch cooperation

There is a growing trend of intensive cooperation between Montenegrin farmers and Dutch counterparts. The collaboration between the Dutch Hendrix Genetics and Montenegrin pig producers is just one example of this. One of the biggest challenges for Dutch investment is currently market access. However, the Embassy’s agricultural team can assist in this substantially.

For trade related requests and further information please contact Mila Mirkovic (senior policy advisor agriculture Belgrade) on bel-lnv@minbuza.nl.

Peter Bori – Junior Policy Advisor Agriculture

Zie ook