The company Nectar, a leader in fruit and vegetable processing and fruit juice production in Serbia and the region, opened the biggest organic plantation in Serbia on a total of 114 hectares in Vladicin Han on Monday, July 8, 2019, the company announced.
This investment, Nectar says, is another big step within the company's long-term orientation toward healthy production with added value for their consumers in Serbia and the world.
– Today, we are proud to open the biggest plantation of organic apples in Serbia on 45 ha, and the plan is to have the plantation cover the entire area of 114 hectares over the next four years. We expect a yield of as many as 500 tons of the best varieties of organic apples in the first year. A total of EUR 200,000 was invested in equipment and seedlings, and a total of EUR 500,000 will be invested over the next four years. Our organic apples will be used for the production of the Frutek brand of organic food for children, the production of Life organic juices and the first organic squeezed juices in the market. The aim is to incite young farmers to return to villages and to help farmers by guaranteeing the buyout in Vladicin Han and the surrounding area, where our largest factory for fruit and vegetable processing is located. This year alone, over 100 people from this area are expected to be hired for the harvesting of organic apples. So far, we have invested over EUR 15 million in Vladicin Han, because we want to revitalize this area together with the state and the local self-government – pointed out Mihailo Jankovic, the director of Nectar Group.
The opening was attended by the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Marko Cadez, and the state secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Velimir Stanojevic.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Marko Cadez, said that, with this investment, Nectar contributed to the development and promotion of organic production, a more efficient use of large production and exporting potentials of that segment of Serbian agricultural business and the creation of conditions for economic growth and employment in Serbia's south.
– The Chamber of Commerce of Serbia has initiated the solving of key issues when it comes to the development of local organic production and the market of organic products together with the competent state institutions. These issues include the harmonization of regulations with international standards, the registration of modern protection products for plants and seeds and the harmonization of incentives with the real needs of the producers – Cadez said.
The state secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Velimir Stanojevic, stated that organic production was the state's long-term strategic goal.
– This is a great opportunity for Serbia's south and small producers, and Nectar is a family company dedicated to its country of origin, which offers a guaranteed buyout of fruit, especially in this area where the factory is located. This is a great move toward a further development of agriculture in this area – he said.
In 20 years, Nectar has realized over EUR 1 billion of gross added value in Serbia, supported 5,500 jobs in the value system, built over 30 brands and is an absolute leader with a 22% share in the regional juice market.