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News 03 Jun 16

Bosnia Meat Exporters Spy Future in Turkey

Bosnian meat producers anticipate new business opportunities in Turkey, after the authorities in Ankara agreed to buy around 6,000 tons of meat from the country.

Rodolfo Toe
BIRN
Sarajevo
Illustration: Pixabay.

Meat producers in Bosnia are eyeing new business opportunities in Turkey after authorities in Ankara green-lighted the purchase of around 6,000 tons of calf meat.

“This is positive news for all agriculture producers in Bosnia,” Dzevad Kovac, president of the farmers' association TOR from Mostar, told BIRN.

“We hope we will be able to market our meat production in Turkey, and that other products, like cheese and milk, will be sold there in bigger quantities in future,” Kovac said.

“We have great potential in this country and have been developing it for years with the help of investors from Turkey … so there is no reason why we shouldn't exploit this resource and make Bosnia a true brand on the Turkish market,” he concluded.

Kasim Selimovic, the owner of the Piemonte food company from Tuzla, which has exported meat to Turkey in the past, agreed.

“This is an important step for Bosnia,” Selimovic said, adding that he was “in contact with an entrepreneur from Turkey to re-start selling our meat in the country.”

On Thursday, the first cargo of around 42 tons of meat was sent from Tuzla airport to Turkey, Bosnian media reported.

The export is being made on the base of a tender approved by the Turkish authorities, Mirko Sarovic, Bosnian Minister of Foreign Commerce, told the media on Wednesday.

“This is a unilateral decision by the Turkish government, which has also set the conditions [for the exports]”, Sarovic said.

Bosnia's meat exports to Turkey have increased in recent years, reflecting increased economic cooperation between the two countries, especially after Ankara decided to allow Bosnia to sell its meat there without paying import tarrifs, to help Bosnia recover from catastrophic floods in 2014.

However, the exports were stopped in 2015, after several Bosnian producers failed to respect one of the key requirements of by Turkish authorities, which was that the meat must be exclusively Bosnian in origin.

This time, the Bosnian authorities said they would ensure full respect for the conditions of export, Sarovic affirmed.

“This job will be done in a fair and legal manner … the State Veterinary Bureau is cooperating with the Turkish side and will monitor the entire process,” Sarovic said.

“Doing a good job is in the interest of the whole agricultural sector in Bosnia … this could represent a permanent entrance ticket to the Turkish market,” he added.

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