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Serbian cherry and berry growers are hurting

The region in the vicinity of Belgrade constitutes the biggest cherry fruit-farming area in Serbia. Cherry growers from this area are now starting to give up on the business in the middle of the harvest season due to low selling prices. Some wholesale buyers offer €0.5 – 0.6 kilogram for cherries, but the price can go as low as €0.25/kg.

“This year, fruits are maturing two weeks later than usual in Serbia. In Azerbaijan, sweet cherries matured before Serbia, so they are dominant on the Russian market, a market where Serbia also exports cherries,” one growers explained. He added that wholesale buyers were complaining about low earnings, noting that the processing businesses in the domestic market offered €0.55/kg, much like a Romanian company buying cherries to produce liqueurs.

“Sweet cherry producers earn nothing, but we need to pick cherries of a certain variety so that they can grow again next year,” he told Another farmer from Ritopek stated that he would dismiss his workers because it was pointless to pay them €25-30 a day and sell sweet cherries for €0.25-0.5 EUR/kg. “It is cheaper to neglect the orchard than to work and keep bleeding money,” the farmer explained.

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