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Gulf is an important region for Bosnian soft fruitsThe berry season for soft fruits in Bosnia and Herzegovina is in full swing, despite the harvest for many of the fruits being delayed by the cold weather earlier in the season.
Bosnian producer Zago BH D.o.o., grow their berries in tunnels, with the exception of their wild berries. Production is all natural in Bosnia which makes it vulnerable to the elements, but is also an advantage in today’s market, where natural products are high in demand.
"There is no other market like the Bosnian market where there are products which are natural and in such big quantities. Our prices are also competitive, with blackberries currently being sold for EXW €4.60 for a 1kg box of 8x 125g clamshell packaging. Our cultivated blueberries are being sold in the same packaging for €7.50/kg and wild blueberries for €8.00/kg." said Sadek Zago from Zago BH D.o.o.
"We are still at the start of the season, so the prices have started at a good level, although I don't expect them to drop much because they will remain in high demand based on the good reputation the Bosnian berries have gained recently."
Many of the company's exports are sent out to the European market, like the Netherlands and Germany, which takes one or two days by truck, but Sadek said that supplying their products to the further destinations with airfreight has been challenging. The Gulf area in particular is becoming an important market for Bosnia.
"Growers in the EU get a lot of support from their government and this is something we are missing here. We need to support our growers in order to get a stronger place in the market. The EU, and other countries, have created countless regulations for fruit export, but for countries such as ours, with no government support, growers are struggling to meet the requirements.
Transport by air is another challenge for Bosnian exporters, especially for fragile products such as soft fruit being sent to far off destinations.
"Sending our fruits to places like the Gulf area can be tricky because of the lack of regular flights. Other countries like the Netherlands have more opportunities for airfreight because they have direct flights. This problem is compounded by the fact that even it we did have a direct flight, there is no cooling cargo area in Sarajevo airport. For example, I have 5-6 orders waiting to be sent and finding the flights can be complicated because I am shipping to a warm area with goods where certain connections can be risky."
For more information:
ZAGO BH D.O.O
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