Victoria Group at the Fourth food for Europe agricultural forum

The “Food for Europe” agricultural forum took place for the 4th time in Subotica on 22 and 23 October, organised by the Economic Institute in Belgrade and the Serbian Association of Agricultural Economists. The forum attracted great attention from both the public and the private sectors in the areas of agriculture and the food processing industry, and besides representatives of agribusiness from the country and the region, representatives of international organisations, the academic community, and farmers’ associations took part.

The central theme of the conference this year was the Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia 2014-2015, which was adopted three months ago. After the presentation of the Strategy, possibilities for its successful implementation were considered.

The forum was opened by Prof. Dr. Zoran Rajić, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Serbia, who announced his Ministry’s intensive legislative activity for the forthcoming period, which would result in the referring of a set of laws for adoption to the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia by the end of this year. He emphasised the importance of the adoption of a developmental strategy for defining the direction of comprehensive reforms which lie ahead for Serbian agriculture.

Victoria Group took part in one of the seven panels organised throughout the two-day conference. Nikola Vujačić, the company’s Operations Director presented experience and results in the agribusiness operations in the home, and regional and European markets. “Although we do not have any hectares of arable land, Victoria Group is one of the drivers of development of Serbian agriculture, buying around a million tonnes of agricultural goods annually. By their processing in our plants, Victoria oil and Sojaprotein, the agricultural raw materials become products of added value. As such, we market and export them in more than 40 countries around the world, and in this way, we give our contribution to a more quality structure of the agricultural and food export of our country,” said Vujačić on the first day of the Forum and added that for successful operations on a global level constant investment in production is required.

In the past ten years, Victoria Group has invested more than EUR 200 million in the most modern technologies, new plants, and the increasing of processing capacities. Next year, it will implement two new major investments. Owing to the continuing investment in development, the Sojaprotein factory operating within the company is one of the most significant processors of genetically non-modified soyabean in Europe, and Victoria oil is one of the leaders of oilseed industry in the region, which successfully exports Iskon sunflower oil to markets in Greece, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria, as well as to other countries in the region.

Representatives of Delta Holding, Atlantic Group, Aleva, and Bambi presented their experiences in regional agribusiness, whereas other panels addressed themes related to using EU pre-accession funds, privatisation in agriculture, bioeconomy, organic agriculture, and agricultural cooperativeness.