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2021, vol. 55, br. 4, str. 1412-1437
Oznake geografskog porekla kao sredstvo valorizacije privrednog poslovanja - šansa za oporavak sela
aUniverzitet Union, Pravni fakultet, Beograd
bUniverzitet 'Union - Nikola Tesla', Beograd
cUniverzitet za poslovne studiјe, Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, BiH

e-adresalukinovicmario@gmail.com, ana.galjak@gmail.com, drimilojevic@gmail.com
Ključne reči: oznake geografskog porekla; standardizacija; oporavak sela
Sažetak
Očuvanje karakteristika poljoprivrednih i prehrambenih proizvoda je direktnoj korelaciji sa sistemom oznaka geografskog porekla. Danas, u više od 150 zemalja sveta geografske oznake su u službi garancije kvaliteta, porekla, načina proizvodnje, neretko tradicije i na kraju i bezbednosti proizvoda. U radu se ukazuju na promene ponašanja potrošača, ka promeni sklonosti ka potrošnji proizvoda koji se diferenciraju na tržištu upravo različitim oblicima obeležavanja i sertifikacije, te spremnosti da te iste proizvode plate po premijskim cenama. Dodatne oznake su se nametnule kao osnovno sredstvo valorizacije proizvoda na tržištu. Autori u radu ukazuju na potencijal srpske poljoprivrede i daju preporuke zakonodavcu i drugim nadležnim institucijama, u cilju boljeg pozicioniranja sveukupne nacionalne privrede. Ekološka poljoprivreda, bazirana na principima NON GMO primesa, sa jasnim opredeljenjem ka integralnim principima obrade zemljišta predstavlja najveći potencijal naše zemlje. Stimulativne mere od strane države koje bi išle u pravcu bolje edukacije i poboljšanja položaja poljoprivrednika, uz pažljivo strateško planiranje poljoprivrede na već pomenutim principima, učinilo bi je akceleratorom sveukupnog privrednog razvoja. Oznake geografskog porekla kao i standardizacija i sertifikacija moraju biti neizostavno oruđe na tom putu.

Introduction

After India gained independence from Great Britain, Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement, when asked whether India would follow the development strategy possessed by Great Britain (the leading world economic power at that time), answered: “Absolutely not. When Britain needed to colonize half of the humanity in order to realize its development, how many planets do you think India should colonize in order to reach its level, since it has twenty times more inhabitants than Britain? We must seek new approaches and roads of development” (The WorldWatch Institute, 2006).

This paradigm should be followed by all countries, particularly the developing and medium-developed ones. Being limited by their resources, they must search for solutions that will maximize their economic growth and wellbeing of their citizens (Novaković, 2020). Historically speaking, along with the population growth, there was an increasing need for greater production. The market was dominated by the countries with great natural resources (the USA used to generate half of the total number of products manufactured all over the world). After the Second World War, Japan, being the country not extremely rich in resources and raw materials, had to search for a way out from the economic situation it found itself in, initiated a quality revolution under the influence of the quality management theory of the American expert Edwards Deming. It began importing raw materials and making products with a multiple value. Ten years later, high-quality products from Japan flooded the whole world and led to changes in the international market that are considered by many as the beginning of the Third Industrial Revolution. The former aspiration of the nations towards quantitative production was replaced by the Japanese aspiration to increase quality. The turning point in the development of the quality policy ion the European Union was 1992, when the European Commission introduced the package of Regulations (1992/2006/2012) that, instead of the former quantity concept, put an emphasis on the quality of agricultural products (Sinković, 2017).

If we look at Serbia‘s geographical position, we will notice that the available natural resources are exceptionally suitable for manufacturing various agricultural products. Each agrarian policy largely depends on the price level, and that is the basic point that often determines the physiognomy of the agrarian policy. The parity of the economic position of agriculture does not influence only the rate of the agricultural growth of each country, but also has direct regional and social reflections, the “specific weight” of which undoubtedly increases with the degree of development. In recent years, agricultural production has been on the rise, and that trend also continued during 2020, when, compared to the previous year, there was an increase in the production of wheat by 17.3%, raspberries by 7.4%, sour cherries by 70.9%, corn by 9.6% and soybean by 15.1%. Despite the growth of the relative productivity, the economic position of agriculture is deteriorating, so that an inevitable question arises about the measures that are to be undertaken in order to mitigate the deteriorating tendency of the relative economic position of agriculture and farmers (Lovre, Kresoja, 2014). Out of the total of 6,155 permanently populated environments, urban settlements account for 3%, while the share of agriculture in the total employment in the Republic of Serbia is more than 20%. According to the latest population census from 2011, the demographic trend in rural regions is extremely unfavourable, not only as a consequence of negative population growth, but also of external and internal migrations to a great extent (Vukolić, 2020).

The research shows that the primary motive of migrations is the satisfaction of the needs that cannot be met in the local environment. Better material conditions are a generator of a better living standard that, apart from economic conditions, also implies greater opportunities for employment, better cultural offer, communal equipment etc. (Bobić et al., 2016, p. 16). The wealth of natural resources and favourable conditions for agricultural production should accelerate village recovery in Serbia, whereas geographical indications are an important tool in such struggle.

An increasingly pronounced mistrust in industrially produced food, numerous affairs regarding the quality and origin of food products, as well as raising the awareness about the issues of environment and health food cause larger and larger consumer demand for ecological products. Differentiation and valorization of such products is fatefully bound with their labelling. In this way, consumers are unambiguously informed that a product contains desired characteristics, quality guarantee, absolute health safety and thus the reduced possibility of false presentation of products.

Additional indications as a means of product valorization in the market

The price of domestic agricultural products is low, which also leads to the unfavourable position of farmers, directly affecting the level of their living standard. Serbia has a high percentage of agricultural land and exceptionally fertile soil. Years-long poor industrial activity has contributed to the slower trend of environment pollution, which unambiguously leads to the higher quality of domestic agricultural products. Population migrations from agriculturally undeveloped municipalities towards urban centres are also in a clear correlation to the region‘s development and the amount of GDP per capita (Lukinović, Jovanović, 2019, p. 233). Orienting farmers towards products with a higher market value would ensure an increase in the income of the people in rural regions that deals predominantly with agriculture, which, with the long-term application of such strategy, would lead to economic growth and improvement of the quality of life in villages.

The modern market is characterized by great demand that is particularly pronounced in agricultural products. That is why it is necessary on a more frequent basis for producers to offer additional quality that exceeds minimum legislative obligations. An important segment in the placement of these products is product labelling aimed at showing an average consumer that a certain product possesses additional value in comparison to similar or identical products in the market.

A further emphasis on the product characteristics with the sales promotion via the use of additional indications or statements has a high potential for both consumers and food producers. In that manner, producers (and thus agriculture) can significantly upgrade the valorization of their products, with the potential for preserving traditional and rare sorts, as well as professions. Thanks to additional indications on products, consumers become familiar with attributes and health functions of products more easily and better, making them an important source of information for decision-making during purchase (Cvjetković et al., 2021).

The possibility of adding value to food products has an important social, medical and economic potential; it leads to the decreased price sensitivity of consumers and their willingness to pay a higher price (Gligorijević, 2014).

The current Strategy of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Serbia for the period 2014–2024 (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 85/14) stipulates the production of safe and high-quality food that should result in attraction to consumers in the domestic market, but also in the competitiveness in the foreign market so as to contribute significantly to the recovery and growth of the entire national economy.

The segment of production and sale of traditional certified products is still characterized by a lower degree of offer and demand, primarily because multinational companies are not dominant in this market share. The market potential for natural and health food is large and constantly increasing, but in order to be positioned in it, it is not enough only to make a good-quality and healthy product. It is also necessary to present the product with an adequate marketing strategy based on the previous research into the consumers‘ decision-making process during purchase and in relation to the targeted market segment (Mitić, Gligorijević, 2012, p. 210). The key segment in placing agricultural and food products in different segments of the health food market is the communication with consumers, where product information plays a central role.

The quality of products and services has always been important to consumers, but since the first half of the 20th century it has become much more than that. Product indications are not only the guarantee of a certain quality, but consumers increasingly express their own attitude through their choice. There is an undoubtedly huge impact of marketing and marketing tools in the creation of tendencies and their influence on the consumers‘ conscience, but today‘s interests and needs seem to be less imposed and more chosen.

One study from the sector of cheese production has indicated that cheeses with registered indications of origin can realize up to 30% of the price premium in comparison to the competition products, which further leads to a higher purchase price of raw milk in that region, a higher price of hay etc. (European policy of the quality of agricultural products, 2007).

Geografical indications

The geographical indications system was established in order to preserve the characteristics of the products determined by the synergy of geographical factors and local expertise of people in the form of methods and traditions (Radovanović, 2014).

In today‘s world, more than 150 countries protect specific products of special quality as an object of intellectual property, either through specially defined legal categories or through trading, certification or collective indications.

In comparative law, there is no unique concept of protecting geographical indications. Two main concepts of protection can be distinguished. One form of protection is achieved on the basis of the rule of the prevention of unfair competition, while the other one is directed towards the essential connection between a geographical location used for labelling a certain good or service, i.e. goods or services.

The modern market is saturated with the huge offer, so that consumers are in a position to be increasingly demanding and finicky. A decision to purchase a product is made by consumers who are driven by their inner motives, as well as guided by numerous other external influences.

The research conducted by a group of authors (Giovannucci et al., 2009, p. 5) shows that for consumers from the European Union the guarantee of quality is the main motive for purchasing products with geographical indications for as many as 37% consumers; for 35% consumers it is the expected quality, and for 31% of them it is the special region the product comes from, including the production method, while for 16% the main motive for choosing a product is tradition. According to the same study, 51% of the total number of respondents is ready to pay a higher price by 10–20% for a product with a geographical origin.

Of special importance is the influence manifested by geographical indications on the consumers‘ perception of the country of origin itself. For the regions they come from, the products with geographical indications are most commonly part of the recognizable tourist offer as well; they make their regions recognizable, while they ensure higher prices and a safer placement of products to producers. With approximately 600 geographical indications registered in the European Union, France, employs about 138,000 enterprises per year and realizes income of about 19 billion Euros. In Italy, 300,000 people earn 12 billion Euros per year in this sector, while in Spain the annual income from 123 registered geographical indications amounts on average to 3.5 billion Euros (Spasojević, 2012).

Products with a geographical indication are particularly important for the underdeveloped and developing countries. Autochthonous agricultural products with a special origin make the largest part of their exports to developed countries.

Products with a geographical indication give a special contribution where it is most necessary too: in marginalized rural regions. All those, conditionally speaking, faults (an outdated method of processing and production, the lack of infrastructure) are converted into an advantage. The lower productivity of such producers may survive in today‘s social trends only with the government subsidies or with the added value coming from the premium prices achieved by these products. Lower product prices also ensure a better access to markets, which leads to the recognizability of the region a product comes from. Moreover, the added product value also ensures the establishment of the quality guarantee system, which further wins consumers‘ trust.

Products with a geographical origin are most often created ion the traditional and extensive production with the application of traditional and endemic species, with a much smaller impact on the environment. Their promotion can also prevent the disappearance of certain habitats, plant and animal species, natural landscapes and genetic resources.

The importance of products with a protected geographical origin exceeds the economic importance; geographical indications are often an important link in the preservation of tradition, improvement of tourist potential and the building and preservation of the regional and national image.

Good practice examples

The relation between the origin of products and their special characteristics, unique quality and reputation may provide the producers of geographical indications with a better access to new or existing markets, competitive advantage and the possibility of realizing profits from product differentiations (Addor, Grazioli, 2002, p. 321). However, there is also a substantial number of cases when geographical indications have no expected effects in the market. It may be explained by various factors, the lack of interest of authorized users, insufficient promotion of products characterized by a special quality thanks to their geographical origin etc. Understanding the buyers‘ motive for purchasing certain products is relevant to the development of strategies both in the domestic and international markets. The study of the European Commission from 2012 shows that the price of products with a registered geographical indication is by 2.23 times higher than the price of the products with the same characteristics that are not protected (Saez, 2013). The market value of agricultural and food products and alcoholic beverages registered as geographical indications in the EU territory is 74.76 billion Euros, 1/5 of which is exported outside the European Union (Ristić, et al., 2020).

After the introduction of the possibility of registering geographical indications at the European Union level and of registrations from the non-EU countries, at the end of 2004 Colombia filed a registration request for the geographical indication Café de Colombia. The procedure was successfully completed in 2007, by recognizing Café de Colombia for a protected indication of origin for the EU territory. In a meticulously planned marketing campaign based on building the reputation through a system of intellectual property rights, the Colombian coffee was branded as one of the best in the world, which led to its increased exports and price. The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) uses several registered trademarks in the market, the first and the most famous of which is Juan Valdez. The price of this coffee is by 20% higher than that of the coffee with similar characteristics from other countries. Afterwards National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia also placed the coffee with the trademark Buencafé, which turned out to be quite successful (Making the Origin Count: the Colombian Experience, 2021). After Brazil, Colombia is the second largest coffee producer in Latin America, with the annual production of 15 coffee sacks of 60 kg in 2019.

Ha΄Long Fried Calamari is the product protected by its geographical indication in the territory of Vietnam since 2013. These cuttlefish are caught in the Gulf of Tonkin, where the water salinity is lower and more stable than on the coast elsewhere, and that is why they have a 15-21% lower salt concentration. Fresh water in the Gulf of Tonkin comes from the tributaries with plankton species rich in inorganic and organic matter, which is one of the causes for the high level of essential amino-acids in the cuttlefish – higher by 6-36% (Ha Long Fried Calamari, 2013). The analysis performed on the sample of three families registered as the authorized users of geographical indications for Ha΄Long Fried Calamari shows that in 2014 their sale price was higher by $15-17 per kilogram, which led to the increase in their income.

At the beginning of 2021, the European Commission published the Study on economic value of EU quality schemes, geographical indications (GIs) and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSGs)) (2021) that is based on 3,207 registered geographical indications in 28 EU member-states at the end of 2017 (by the end of March 2020, the total number of protected names rose to 3,322). It is estimated that geographical indications and traditional specialities guaranteed have a share of 77.15 billion Euros, which accounts for 7% of the total value of the sale in the European food and beverages sector estimated at 1,101 billion Euros. Almost half of that amount is accounted for by wines (39.4 billion Euros), agricultural and food products 35% (27.34 billion Euros), and alcoholic beverages 13% (10.35 billion Euros). The study shows that the sale value of the analyzed products with a geographical indication is in average twice as high as the sale value of similar products. The premium rate amounted to 2.85 for wines, 2.52 for alcoholic beverages and 1.5 for agricultural products and food.

Quality schemes of agricultural products

There is an increasingly pronounced interest of consumers in high-quality products that were made via a specific production method. The reason for this lies, on one hand, in the consequence of the consumers‘ growing mistrust in producers that have put profits before quality on numerous occasions, and quite often at the expense of the product safety itself, through the global trends of changing consumers‘ life habits and preferences, their aspirations towards healthier nutrition, improvement of health, as well as rising awareness of the importance and protection of the environment.

In order to help the promotion of special (additional) values of traditional products, the EU Regulation No. 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and the European Council on the quality schemes for agricultural and food products (SL L 343, 14th December 2012) stipulated the conditions of the usage of the quality symbol TSG (traditional speciality guaranteed). This Regulation stipulates that labels envisaged by quality schemes of labels and marks do not question the rules of the European Union or its member-states managing intellectual property, particularly the rules regarding geographical indications, origin names and trademarks, as well as the rights assigned according to those rules.

For a product to be labelled with the quality symbol TSG, it needs to be produced by a traditional method, from raw materials with the special characteristics identified ion the registration process. This label primarily protects the recipe or production method; such products are created by conducting a consistent procedure, process or method. To register a TSG product, a name can be used that is traditionally used for labelling a specific product or that describes traditional or specific characteristics of that product. Traditional use refers to the proved use in the period of minimum 30 years (Volar Pantić, 2014).

Additional value of organically made products

The making of agricultural and other products by the organic production methods in the Republic of Serbia is regulated in the appropriate legislation consisting of the Law on Organic Production (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 30/2010 and 17/2019 – other law), the Rule Book on Control and Certification in Organic Production and Organic Production Methods (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 95/2020 and 19/2021) and the Rule Book on Documentation Submitted to an Authorized Organization for Certificate Issuance and the Conditions and Method of Organic Product Sale (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 88/2016).

The law excludes the use of genetically modified organisms, as well as the products containing them or made with their application. A certification label has been established for labelling domestic organic products. An important segment of internal market organization is the control of inspection supervision that ensures the application of standards and fair competition, as well as the protection of consumers.

Apart from the legislative framework ensuring the sustainable development and functioning of the internal market, it is also important to apply voluntarily the appropriate standards that protect consumers‘ interests and ensure fair competition.

According to the overview of Vapa-Tankosić et al. (2020), consumers throughout the world are generally willing to pay a premium price for organic products and that is why Japanese consumers, due to their concern for food freshness, are willing to pay by 8-22% more for certified vegetables; Greek consumers are willing to put aside 55% more money for organic wine and up to 100% more for organic oranges; 50.6% Italians are willing to pay a higher price for organic products, while 95% Iraqis would pay a price that is by 5-24% higher in comparison that the price of conventional products. According to Vehapi‘s study, the majority of consumers in Serbia are willing to pay up to 20% more for organic food products than for the identical products of conventional origin. The analysis of the Federation of Beekeeping Organizations of Serbia and Vojvodina indicates that most users, or 44.9%, are willing to pay the premium price for organic honey, which is by 20- 30% higher than the price of conventional honey, because they believe organic honey has better characteristics, primarily regarding its safety and nutritional value (Vehapi, 2015).

Standardization and certicification of agricultural products

A substantial number of factors potentially endangering production, human safety and environment (Miltojević & Ilić-Krstić, 2020) has imposed the need for introducing certain rules in the procedures of production, processing and trading of products. The process of establishing and preparing rules that regulate activities in a certain field is most frequently performed through the standardization procedure. In the situations when the application of standards is not mandatory, it is particularly useful because it constitutes the basis for ensuring the quality system of the entire production procedure.

The formal standardization procedure for goods or services most commonly takes place through the certification process. In the certification procedure, it is established whether the prescribed conditions have been fulfilled. A certificate may be issued only by an authorized certification body.

A sharp increase in the population numbers and a growing need for food have led to the development of agriculture that relies on the application of machinery and uncontrolled use of mineral fertilizers and plant protection substances. This production achieves higher yields, but at the expense of the reduced quality of products and inevitable significant consequences in terms of the preservation of the environment and human health (Vlahović, M. Štrbac, 2007, p. 133).

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) identifies specific, i.e. special products as products with a specific quality and characteristics regarding their composition, production or refinement process. The quality of these products is above the mandatory quality within food safety and other minimum requests in the market. FAO also sees this kind of products as a potential for strategic differentiation of products from similar or related ones in the market, thus realizing the additional value potential.

In the territory of the Republic of Serbia, there are extremely favourable agro-ecological conditions and natural resources for the production of organic food. A large area of high-quality land and water, relatively low air pollution, as well as the traditional orientation of a large number of producers towards organic production – all these are good prerequisites for broader and more applicable organic production.

Although everything in the world has its price, our health is the most expensive category. Hippocrates‘ saying that “We are what we eat” increasingly puts forward old sorts of cereals, fruit and vegetables because they are the best guarantee for healthy nutrition and health in the 21st century.

Genetically modified food (GM or biotechnological food) is the food produced from organisms that were subject to special changes within their DNA through the application of genetic engineering. Despite the fact that many social groups and institutions advocate the prohibition of genetically modified food, its use is progressively increasing in the world market (Genetically modified food-consumer protection and trade regulations, 2017) since 1994, when California-based Calgene Inc. promoted its tomato that was more rot-resistant and with postponed ripening, called Flavr Savr. Despite the huge demand for this product, the product was never profitable due to high production and distribution costs. An extreme influence of the public opinion and consumers‘ choice is illustrated by the franchise production of Flavr Savr tomato paste in Great Britain by Zeneca. The sale collapsed after the broadcast of the serial speaking about the harmful consumption of genetically modified food and revealing the data and claims that subsequently turned out to be false. The public opinion, i.e. consumers, decided that they did not want such products to be offered, although they were clearly labelled, so the largest retail chains in Britain had to withdraw this product from their offer (Bruening, Lyons, 2000).

According to the Law on Genetically Modified Organisms (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 41/2009), no modified live organism nor a product from a genetically modified organism can be placed in the market and/or kept for commercial purposes in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Although we are not the only ones to have prohibited genetically modified food, particularly in Europe, where more than 20 countries have prohibited its cultivation, the largest world markets allow it (the USA; Brazil, Argentina and India) and a large part of our placement might be performed through the sale of goods labelled as non-GMO (Mihovski et al., 2012).

Since the adoption of the EC Regulation No. br. 834/2007 on organic production and organic product labelling, one of the chief challenges has been the establishment of the unified organic food market at the European Union level, with a strong control system and inspection along the whole supply chain, concurrently with the simplified certification for small farmers, thanks to the new system of group certification. In 1916, the USA enacted the law that envisages the establishment of the national standard for labelling the food made of genetically modified organisms.

Some of the available data indicate that in Serbia there are about half a million hectares that have not been cultivated for more than five years; it is that land that is perfectly suitable for organic agricultural products (Ševarlić, 2017). Modern agriculture is characterized by intensive agriculture that, inter alia, also implies a larger application of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, which results in the products of suspicious safety for human use in terms of harms to health, while it inevitably has a negative impact on the environment and the pollution level.

Organic agriculture is a production method that implies mandatory use of the land that has not been treated by chemical fertilizers for three years and more, with no use of chemical substances and genetically modified organisms.

The transition to organic agriculture contributes to the increase in income, primarily through the increased market prices, as well as other economic benefits. Certified organic products have premium prices that vary depending on the market conditions (from 40% to 200%, for example in Switzerland).

Integral protection is a concept created at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s and implies the prevention of harmful organisms through the application of the methods that disturb natural systems to the minimum possible extent and encourage natural mechanisms, while being economically and ecologically satisfactory.

In Serbia, there is not a single hectare of arable land that is certified for integral production, although it is the basis for all other standards. In addition, only a minor percentage of the areas under fruit and vegetables have the Global Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) Certificate. This standard was introduced in order to make buyers sure that food has been produced with the minimum impact on the environment, as well as with the adequate safety and wellbeing of the workers and animals. The standard is one of the conditions for the placement of fresh fruit and vegetables in the European Union supermarkets.

The Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a framework for the European Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides is aimed at reducing the risk and negative effect of the pesticide use on human health and the environment. This Directive introduced mandatory application of the basic principles of integrated plant protection for preventing harmful plant organisms, including alternative approaches and techniques such as non-chemical measures for plant protection for the purpose of achieving sustainable and competitive agriculture. The implementation of this Directive may be of great relevance to fruit and vegetables exports into the European Union market.

The percentage of citizens whose standard is considered inappropriate within the national framework is the highest outside urban centres, where the households with small estates are particularly endangered. The increase in the production of final products with a protected geographical origin and certified traditional products offers the possibility for realizing an added value to producers in rural and undeveloped regions. By achieving a higher final premium price, the conditions are created for a better-quality life and employment in villages, and thus for young people staying in villages. That could positively affect to a more significant extent one of the main strategic problems (together with depopulation and demographic aging) that is pronounced in the entire territory of Serbia – migrations from rural regions to cities, the extinction of villages and a poor demographic picture.

Conclusion

Product labelling has multiple significance, labels refer consumers to product characteristics and quality and protect them from false statements and misleading information about product nature or quality. They protect producers from the attempts of others to exploit the reputation of their products, while ensuring better recognizability in the market and increasing the value of their products.

The choice of food products is increasingly determined not only by physiological or nutritive needs, but also by other factors. There has been a change in consumers‘ attitudes to health and a healthy way of life, as well as the issues of the environment, globalization and expression of other personal attitudes.

Premium prices consumers are willing to pay for certain kinds of food products must also be accompanied by a high added value too. Moreover, organic products have certain specific features that constitute a barrier in the market: a higher price, lower availability, less appealing appearance, poor promotion etc. In addition, due to the insufficient inspection control (necessary in the entire production chain: from the field, via storage and production of fodder and animal nutrition, to the final product), there is also a certain degree of consumers‘ mistrust in the labels used for organic products. The manifested scepticism is the lowest in relation to geographical indications because their registration, apart from specific characteristics and special quality, also requires decades-long presence in the market. Furthermore, geographical indications also sublime the perception that contains a multitude of different elements successively affecting consumers: traditional production, health food, natural environment, as well as social and ecological responsibility.

Although we have a legislative framework that is mostly harmonized with the European Union regulations (the regulations of the Council and the Commission), there is pronounced vagueness with substantial negative implications for our producers. For example, although Serbia is a non-GMO country, because it prohibits the making of genetically modified products, their imports are not prohibited. Therefore, we can export products with a potentially higher market value that are not genetically modified, but since it is possible to import products from the neighbouring countries (e.g. Hungary, that allows GMO production), the competitiveness of final products from Serbia is reduced.

The potential is contained in the application of integral production with a clear orientation towards creating the entire territory of Serbia as a “non-GMO” region, both for GMO production and placement. Consumers‘ awareness, their knowledge and being informed are continually on the rise. Every day consumers turn towards products that are healthy, safe, of good quality, fresh, with no pesticides or GMOs, and produced in line with social responsibility and environmental protection. Overall restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to further turning towards the priority aim of health preservation and improvement. The potential of Serbia‘s agriculture lies in the application of traditional agrotechnical measures and organic production, which, in the conditions of better education and improvement of the farmers‘ situation, along with stimulating measures undertaken by the government, could accelerate the overall economic development. Geographical indications, as well as standardization and certification must inevitably be a tool on that road.

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Marinković, T., Vojvodić, K., Marinković, D. (2017) Genetically modified food-consumer protection and trade regulations. u: 10th International Scientific Conference 'Science and Higher Education in Function of Sustainable Development', Užice
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Mitić, S., Gligorijević, M. (2012) Global challenges and perspectives of marketing of healthy food products. Marketing, vol. 43, br. 3, str. 205-218
Novaković, N.G. (2020) Transition, worker protests and blockades of public spaces in Serbia. Sociološki pregled, vol. 54, br. 4, str. 1152-1182
Paraušić, V., Raljević-Nikolić, S. (2012) Certification Schemes for Agricultural and Food Products in Serbia and the Support of the Farmers' Association. u: Mihovski B., Živadinović T., Živkov G., Dulić-Marković I., Barjolle D. [ur.] Guide to the certification of agricultural production and food industry, Valjevo: SECO, 147-176, [In Serbian]
Pick, B., Marie-Vivien, D., Bui, K.D. (2017) The Use of Geographical Indications in Vietnam: A Promising Tool for Socioeconomic Development?. u: Calboli I., Loon W. [ur.] Geographical Indications at the Crossroads of Trade, Development, and Culture: Focus on Asia-Pacific, Cambridge University Press
Radovanović, N. (2014) National and International Protection of Agricultural and Food Products by Geographical Indications: The case of Serbia. u: Mitić S., Ognjanov G. [ur.] Food marketing, Beograd: Dosije studio, 120-131, [In Serbian]
Ristić, K., Marjanović, N., Miličković, M., Kadić, Z. (2020) Analysis of Sustainability, Achievements and Limitations of the EU Economic Policy. Oditor, vol. 6, br. 3, str. 137-145
Saez, C. (2013) GIs the 'Darling' of Europe, but Protection a Challenge for All, Producers Say. IP WATCH, www.ip-watch. org/2013/05/28/gis-the-darling-of-europe-but-protection-a-challenge-for-all-producers-say/, Downloaded on 25 June 2021
Sinković, K. (2017) Composition and Quality for Agricultural and Food Products. http://grasscroatia.hpa.hr/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Karmen-Sinkovi%C4%87.pdf, [In Croatian], Downloaded on 25 June 2021
Spasojević, S. (2012) Economic Importance of Geographical Indications and Typical Forms of their Abuse. u: Vlašković B. [ur.] Legal and Infrastructural Foundations for Knowledge-Based Economic Development, Kragujevac: Pravni fakultet Univerziteta u Kragujevcu, 315-327, [In Serbian]
Ševarlić, M. (2017) Organic Chance for Deserted Serbian Villages. https://srbin.info/politika/prof-dr-miladin-sevarlic-organska-sansa-za-pusta-srpska-sela/?lang=lat, [In Serbian], Downloaded on 25 June 2021
Vapa-Tankosić, J., Ignjatijević, S., Kiurski, J., Milenković, J., Milojević, I. (2020) Analysis of Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Organic and Local Honey in Serbia. Sustainability, 12(11): 4686
Vehapi, S. (2015) Study of Consumers' Motives Affecting the Purchase of Organic Food in Serbia. Economic Themes, 53(1): 105-121, [In Serbian]
Vlahović, B., Štrbac, M. (2007) Osnovne karakteristike tržišta i marketinga proizvoda organske poljoprivrede. Ekonomika poljoprivrede, vol. 54, br. 2, str. 131-147
Volar-Pantić, E. (2014) Regulations for the Quality Schemes for Agricultural and Food Products. Beograd: PLAC Projekat, [In Serbian]
Vukolić, D. (2020) Gastronomic product in the function of development of different forms of tourism in Srem district. Održivi razvoj, vol. 2, br. 2, str. 41-54
 

O članku

jezik rada: srpski, engleski
vrsta rada: pregledni članak
DOI: 10.5937/socpreg55-32937
primljen: 28.06.2021.
prihvaćen: 19.08.2021.
objavljen u SCIndeksu: 21.01.2022.
metod recenzije: dvostruko anoniman
Creative Commons License 4.0

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