Support to Investment

Montenegro’s farmers see opportunities to promote high quality local food

04/09/2020

Montenegro’s biodiversity, breathtaking landscapes and untapped local gastronomic culture are creating interesting opportunities for rural communities in the northern region.

With support from the EBRD and the Investment Centre, Montenegrin farmers have begun looking into selling their products directly to tourists and supplying hotels and restaurants with high-quality local foods to shorten food supply chains and raise their incomes.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the EBRD and FAO worked closely with Montenegro’s Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, farmers and other partners to improve competitiveness through the quality and promotion of traditional agrifood products and sustainable tourism in the country’s less-visited northern regions. 

This work led to improved regulations on agritourism, stronger cooperation between small-scale producers and better coordination in marketing their traditional agrifood products to tourists. It also created stronger links between producers and the hotel, restaurant and catering segment, thanks to a B2B web page, and a better understanding of how to build tourism around authentic local gastronomy.

Montenegro is a culinary treasure trove, boasting an array of traditional foods and dishes that are unique to the country. In recent years, FAO and the EBRD have worked with farmers and local authorities to upgrade food safety and quality standards in the country’s meat sector. This has led to the registration of several traditional food products, including Stelja and Govedja cured meats, as GIs.

An Atlas of typical Montenegrin food, a product of the EBRD/FAO initiative, features these and other unique foods. The initiative has also helped set up a gastronomy route in the northern region. Chefs and rural households along the route have been trained on how to store and cook local products in line with hygienic standards and to adapt traditional recipes for today’s consumers. This work has led to the identification of five other destinations for gastrotourism development.

Together these efforts are strengthening livelihoods, preserving biodiversity, safeguarding traditions and bringing more women and young people into the supply chain.

Photo credit ©FAO/Igor Pavicevic
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