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Serbian raspberry producers on strike

Serbian raspberry producers littered the streets in the town of Arilje with raspberries from their recent harvests on Sunday, in a demonstration of their dissatisfaction with this year's raspberry purchase prices.

Some 1,000 raspberry producers gathered on Sunday, demanding a retail price hike for raspberries from 1.5 euros to 2 euros per kilogram.

Dragan Terzic, director of the Vilmet raspberry farmers association, told the Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti that the harvest would not be stopped as raspberry farmers had invested a lot of money in production.

Vilamet, the association that staged the protest, is calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to act swiftly. “If the Ministry doesn’t come up with concrete suggestions and solutions, we will halt exports,” Terzic warned on Sunday, according to Vecernje novosti.

With last year's production of 65,000 tonnes of raspberries, Serbia is the major world producer and exporter of raspberries and raspberry fruits are of strategic importance for the Serbian economy, according to The Washington Red Raspberry Commission.

Minister of Agriculture Sasa Dragin announced on Monday the purchase price should remain 2 euros per kilogram, adding that inspection teams had been sent to Arilje to observe the situation and to determine which retailers are attempting to reduce the purchase price for raspberries.


Publication date: 7/2/2009


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