Belgrade, 21 February 2013 – Following public allegations that the analyses - performed by SP Laboratorija - to test for the presence of aflatoxins in Serbian milk was driven by political motives, Victoria Group (the parent company of SP Laboratorija) hereby states that these and similar accusations are entirely inaccurate and unfounded. Analyses, commissioned by two separate parties, were carried out to the highest international standards at SP Laboratorija, a leading and one of the first accredited laboratories in Serbia (under ISO/IEC 17025 by the Accreditation Body of Serbia in 2001), which is also authorised to conduct international arbitration in this domain. We would, once again, like to state that SP Laboratorija could offer the remaining quantity of samples used in the aforementioned milk analyses to any/all relevant institutions for re-testing, provided that permission is granted by the parties that ordered the analyses.
Since its very inception Victoria Group has operated to the highest professional standards according to economic and market principles, while always stringently adhering to legal and regulatory frameworks, and remaining strictly apolitical throughout. The Group has invested more than EUR 200 million in Serbia since it was established. The sound business practices and independent operating of the Group are reflected in its business results, which include: achieving net exports of more than EUR 200 million to 40 markets around the world in 2012.
The Group is a pioneer as far as establishing partnerships and providing support to agricultural producers is concerned, and today collaborates with approximately 40,000 Serbian farmers and more than 300 cooperatives. The fact that the company pre-finances primary agricultural production with approximately EUR 100 million every year makes Victoria Group one of the key protagonists in the development of Serbian agriculture, and a pillar of Serbia’s business community.
The ownership structure of Victoria Group comprises: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Zoran Mitrović, Milija Babović and the investment vehicle, Apsara Limited. The company is run by a professional management team with extensive experience in multinational corporations. More than 1,800 workers are directly employed Victoria Group through its 10 member companies.
SP Laboratorija, a member of Victoria Group, is one of the first accredited laboratories in Serbia, accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 by the Accreditation Body of Serbia. Following the signing of the agreement between the Accreditation Body of Serbia and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, SP Laboratorija became internationally recognised (certificate available on the website of the Accreditation Body of Serbia www.ats.rs). SP Laboratorija tests about 40,000 samples of food for human consumption and animal feed every year, for a variety of clients, including: the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, the Ministry of Health, the national Veterinary Administration, as well as a large number of international and local companies and producers.