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News 24 Jun 15

EU Market Opens to Bosnia Dairy Farmers

Bosnian producers will soon be able to re-start milk and diary exports to Croatia, and to other EU countries, in a major breakthrough for Bosnia’s feeble economy.

Elvira M. Jukic

After rarely seen pro-activity and agility in meeting EU requirements on the part of Bosnian authorities, the EU is allow selected local milk producers to export raw milk and diary products to Croatia and the EU market.

The development has been hailed as a breakthrough for the country’s feeble economy. Local milk and diary producers lost a significant market for their products in 2013 when neighbouring Croatia, a major purchaser, joined the EU.

Exports to Croatia then stopped because Bosnia did not comply with Europe's strict legal, technical and sanitary conditions.

Many milk producers expressed fears that this would destroy the diary industry and much of the rest of agriculture in the country.

Led by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia over the past months increased its efforts to meet the EU's criteria.

After preparing the required action plans and new legislation, which is expected to be approved in the next month or so, the EU has now informed Bosnia that selected milk and diary producers will soon be able to export their products to EU markets, Mirko Sarovic, Bosnian Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Minister, announced on Tuesday.

“This is good news for Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the best [news] for the dairy and agricultural sector,” Sarovic said. “We will save the milk sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Sarovic stressed that much work has still to be done, including preparations for the EU's Food and Veterinary Office, FVO, whose mission to Bosnia is expected in 2016.

Milk producers have praised the efforts of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Ministry, emphasizing the importance of the milk industry to Bosnia.

Opening the EU market to milk producers will allow this sector to grow and encourage and the rest of the agriculture sector at the same time, they say.

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