The idea behind Culinaria is to help increase the competitiveness of these companies in the region and to attract foreign buyers as well as increase exports of agricultural produce.
In 2009, according to data presented at the Culinaria, the countries in the region exported food and agricultural produce to the value exceeding four billion dollars. Fine food and drinks from Southeast Europe have become world famous for their taste and first class quality.
Thus, truffles and forest mushrooms from Southeast Europe have found their ways to the menus of the best New York restaurants, the raspberries are a delicacy found in designer hotels around Tokyo, and the cheeses, ham, wines and water are now widely sold in delicatessens in London, Rome, Berlin, Moscow and Singapore.
Those who visited Culinaria were given an opportunity to see some products from Serbia made exclusively for export, such as a cake, similar to the famous “Sachertorte” of Vienna. This cake, made in Kragujevac, a town in central Serbia, is now exported to Vienna.
The joint heritage of the countries of former Yugoslavia was visible, and the producers hope that the old habits and gastronomic preferences of their consumers, which are similar in all countries of the region and which do not tend to fast, could be used to make their markets grow. The food producers, gathered around Serbia’s Chamber of Commerce, believe that the regional fine food and drinks show could prove to be a good basis for future cooperation of artisan and fine food producers in the region.
Belgrade based Belekspo Centre was in charge of organising this event with the support of USAID – United States Agency for International Development, Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, GTZ – German Technical Assistance Agency, and SIEPA – Serbia Investment & Export Promotion Agency.