Big topics of food branding, how to put it in practice and utilize it in best possible manner. In Europe itself we can find more than 1200 legally protected and branded products of agriculture. Beside marketing benefits of food branding, we witness sharp up slope increase of sales of branded products which further translates in enhanced and wider profit margins (up to 230% for some products).
As a logical continuation, I was asking myself how do Balkan states stand with food branding, if at all. As expected, results differ from country to country. On one pole are Slovenia and Croatia which went far the furthest by legally protecting their specific autochtonous products. On the national level, however. Their numbers are 22 and 18 respectively. On the EU level they managed to grab and legalize rights for 12 and 10 products respectively.
Huge addition to this group is Serbia. Serbia holds absolute record with 52 products which are officially branded and protected on national level. However it did not protect any of its agriculture products on EU level. Which is a huge head wind and obstacle for further expansion. According to Serbian ministry of agriculture there are plans to brand and geographically protect as far as 36 products. But, at this point in time, this is only still a plan.
Macedonia and Montenegro officially do not have officially protected and branded food products. Neither on national nor EU level. But, according to respective authorities, there are existing ongoing processes of such a kind. More specific information are expected soon.
Far the worst situation is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whereby absolutely no reliable and tangible data exist about food branding and geo origin protection. It is presumed that different sorts of honey have been protected on questionable levels. However, no firm facts to support these statements are in place as of my knowledge.
Again, it is important to have in mind the perspective we are observing. National branding and legal standards differ in great extent from one another, which means that total amount of nationally branded food products does not have to have some weight internationally. When it comes to EU level the story is very clear. The procedures are very complex and demanding. Imposing the fact that only the high quality products are going to get branded and protected. Leaders in EU are Italy and France where their portion accounts for cca 60% of all legally protected products.
To sum it up the situation looks like on the following graph. The fact is that majority of the states proclaimed agriculture as a strategic area of statehood, it is definitely time to start acting as it really is.
Sources: respective authorities and official EU portal. More details onto EU regulations on food branding and standards here.
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