Organic Balkans

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This volume compares the beginnings of organic farming in the variouscountries of South East Europe. It analyses the sector on a regionallevel through an evaluation of the related administrative structures, policies,stakeholders, and markets. The world of

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organic balkans stakeholders policies and institutions a regional perspective matteo vittuari osservatorio balcani e caucaso project of the peace bell foundation promoted by the trentino forum for peace and human rights

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www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng

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organic balkans stakeholders policies and institutions a regional perspective matteo vittuari osservatorio balcani e caucaso

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lead partner co-financed by provincia autonoma di trento organic balkans matteo vittuari stakeholders policies and institutions a regional perspective osservatorio balcani e caucaso 2011 production editor kaela venuto copy editor english edition kaela venuto copy editor italian edition marco vender graphic design roberta bertoldi photographs mario boccia paolo martino cover picture watercolour roberta bertoldi typeset and printed by publistampa arti grafiche november 2011 recycled paper cyclus offset 100 waste from separate rubbish collection without chlorine bleach

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summary acknowledgements 9 foreword by dacian ciolo 11 foreword by natalija bogdanov 13 foreword by andrea segrè 15 introduction 17 1 agriculture and rural development in the western balkans 20 1.1 the state of agriculture and rural areas in the western balkans 20 1.2 agricultural policies 27 33 39 43 44 48 52 59 63 67 1.3 eu enlargement negotiations on agriculture 1.4 the role of organic farming in european agricultural policy 2 organic farming the situation country by country 2.1 organic agriculture in albania 2.3 organic croatia 2.2 bosnia herzegovina grass-roots organic production 2.4 organic kosovo the first steps 56 2.5 macedonia discovering a green economy 2.6 organic montenegro a lost chance 2.7 organic farming in serbia 3 stakeholders policies and institutions a regional perspective 75 3.1 statistical sources 75 3.2 legislation and governance 77 3.3 inspection and certification bodies 80 83 3.4 organic land and certified producers 3.5 products and processing 85 7

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index 3.6 consumers market and distribution 3.8 research and training 89 95 3.7 italian agencies and projects in the balkans 3.9 balkan organic products hit the trade fairs 100 103 107 111 conclusion bibliography and web references abbreviations and acronyms 121 list of tables 123 main glossary of terms 124 seenet ii 130 8

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acknowledgements this volume is the result of study periods in the western balkans participation in research and cooperation projects funded by the italian ministry for foreign affairs and the european union collaboration with numerous universities in the region among others banja luka belgrade korçë mostar novi sad pristina podgorica sarajevo skopje tirana zagreb and extensive travel in the different countries and their rural areas although the opinions expressed here are exclusively those of the author the work would not have been possible without tips and suggestions from italian and balkan colleagues and those with an interest in the balkans i wish to thank in no particular order andrea segrè who has encouraged me in my work and supported my choices francesca regoli giovanni molari massimo canali and the other colleagues at the university of bologna natalija bogdanov from the university of belgrade william meyers of the university of missouri endrit kullaj at the university of tirana irena luci at the ministry of agriculture in zagreb nikola damljanovi at bioagricert and gianfranco cicognani of the central european initiative the list could be much longer the collection updating and verifying of the statistical data in the various countries would not have been possible without the support of local experts who collaborated by giving interviews and suggestions and by making data and materials available among these were endrit kullaj kastriot belegu renata raki dubravko amuli irena luci nikola damljanovi branko cici igor strbac zorica blagojevi jovo radulovi imri demelezi arlinda arleniu kiril todorov and blagica sekovska in terms of organisations albinspekt bioagricert and the ministries of agriculture in every country must be mentioned the most important thanks go to osservatorio balcani e caucaso which contributed exceptional expertise experience and assistance to the work and namely to luisa chiodi who involved me in the activities of osservatorio and kaela venuto who coordinated the development of this publication with skill and patience but my thanks go indeed to all the staff at obc who have contributed to 9

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acknowledgements this work in different ways francesca vanoni marco vender roberta bertoldi davide sighele chiara sighele giorgio comai chiara cont and nicole corritore a final word of thanks goes to irene dioli for having suggested a couple of years ago that i develop the theme of organic farming in the western balkans for this english edition in particular i would like to thank the translators who worked on the original articles for the website special thanks go to kaela venuto for adapting and editing these texts as well as translating and revising further sections of this book and to catriona murray for proofreading the whole document 10

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foreword by dacian ciolo eu commissioner for agriculture and rural development i welcome this publication as it covers two issues that i believe are very important organic agriculture and eu enlargement when i look at the present situation of organic agriculture in the western balkans it reminds me of the long way that the eu has come since the first european legislation on organic farming in 1991 at that time the sector was still being dismissed rather lightly it was thought to involve a few eccentrics and farmers who wanted to do things differently pioneers who were not always taken seriously a lot has changed since then organic farming is no longer seen in the same way neither by public opinion nor by political leaders the market has developed and the sector is well organised organic farming can become a model for making agricultural systems sustainable organic farming has managed to win the trust of europeans this trust is the organic sector s most precious asset this trust is the product of the remarkable efforts of some 200,000 european organic farms it has enabled the eu-27 organic market to achieve a turnover of around 20 billion euros this trust is also the product of the demanding legislative work which has taken place over the last 20 years after regulating plant products the community introduced a regulatory framework for organic animal products in 1999 this was extended to processed products in 2006 europe has underpinned society s shift towards organic farming and this has gathered pace since 2004 with the european action plan a reformed post-2013 common agricultural policy cap is currently being introduced and it will acknowledge the importance of organic farming the views expressed and denominations used in this publication may differ from views and the practice employed by the european commission 11

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prefazione di dacian ciolo under pillar one direct aid farmers who have organic certification will be automatically eligible for the greening element of direct aid as recognition of the proven sustainable nature and benefits of organic farming under pillar two of the cap existing measures to help farms to convert to organic or to help farms which have already taken the plunge to stay organic will be maintained and defined separately in order to give it a clearer profile in rural development rd programmes under pillar two both organic and conventional farmers will be offered the possibility of support in creating short distribution channels organic agriculture also plays a full part in the knowledge-based farming of tomorrow organic farming has very often been able to lead the way in production practices which make nature into an ally rather than an adversary to be combated with artificial means in short you will see that organic farming has an important role to play in the future of agriculture across the eu and it can therefore make a significant contribution to the development of farming in the countries of the western balkans in practical terms this can be achieved on one hand through the alignment with eu legislation and on the other through the financial support offered under the instrument for pre-accession assistance this would put new member states in a position to benefit from full membership of the lucrative eu market from the moment of accession the eu is working hard with all the countries from the region i am glad that we have already concluded accession negotiations with croatia which will become an eu member as from 1st july 2013 i hope that other countries will follow and they can certainly count on our full support in the accession process i am convinced that as enlargement continues organic farming in the western balkans will see growth and development similar to what it has seen in the eu during the past years 12

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foreword by natalija bogdanov professor of agricultural economics belgrade university the economic and social changes that characterised the nineties in the western balkans brought about important transformations both to the production system and population distribution within the area rural areas had to deal with migration issues farm abandonment and their incapacity to make full use and recognise the value of local resources on the other hand urban centres were affected by a rapid increase in population and productive activities these dynamics had a negative effect on rural areas both in socio-economic and environmental terms what drives the economy of the rural areas and is at the same time the main source of employment is still an extensive type of agriculture mainly based on the low cost of manual labour and not always able to reorganise itself in more modern systems of production the rural areas of the balkans may be faced with obstacles like weak infrastructure lack of institutional support and limited human and financial capital but at the same time they have great potential in terms of natural resources as for biodiversity the western balkans encompass a great variety of natural habitats from coastal lagoons and wetlands to mediterranean woodlands from mountain pastures and meadows to fresh water ponds and limestone karst these natural resources are not yet fully integrated into local agricultural diversification strategies organic farming high quality food products geographic indications and protected products traditional foodstuffs tourism environmental protection etc greater diversification would lead to better use of resources and to the integration of both agricultural and non-agricultural economic circuits it would also improve employment prospects the common agriculture policy has become an essential reference point for agricultural and rural developmental policies at the national level so in the medium term considering the growing importance of organic production within the european model significant growth in this sector is definitely to be expected in the western bal13

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