FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Montenegro steps up competitiveness of its meat sector

“Quality” and “competitiveness” were the keywords at a conference last week in Podgorica focused on Montenegro’s meat sector.

Organized by FAO, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Montenegro’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the event also served as the formal launch for a two-year project designed to boost Montenegro’s agri-food chains.

Meat producers, processing companies, technical experts, government representatives, members of the European Union delegation in Montenegro, and others were among the more than 100 participants. Discussion focused on ways of developing and promoting traditional quality products, the role of smallholders, and food safety and quality standards in the region.

FAO agribusiness economist Emilie Vandecandelaere highlighted Montenegro’s rich food heritage and the work being undertaken to enhance recognition of traditional products. “Taking inventory of traditional products is not only done for posterity,” she said, “but is also a first step in promoting such products through greater market regulation and assisting consumers to decipher which are the quality products.”

Giulio Moreno, who heads the Montenegro office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, highlighted the strong cultural and historical heritage of the country’s quality meat products, and the potential to be recognized by consumers in domestic, regional and European Union markets.

The new FAO/EBRD project in Montenegro aims to support more efficient and inclusive agri-food chains through better coordination on food safety and quality standards, the development of origin-based labels in the meat sector, and sharing knowledge on food safety, quality and geographical indications.

28 April 2015, Podgorica, Montenegro