First coordinative meeting on networking between the professional beekeepers from the Balkan countries, 18-19 March, 2011, Kragujevac, Serbia

72

The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group of the South-Eastern Europe (SWG) through the SWG GTZ ORF project:” Improving the competitiveness of companies and organizations from South-eastern Europe in the agricultural and food sector through the implementation of food quality standards and increased regional networking“, will organize the first coordinative meeting on networking between the professional beekeepers from the Balkan countries.

The meeting will be an opportunity for directed discussions on creation of functional networks and establishment of cooperation between professional beekeepers from the Balkan countries.

Around 20 professional beekeepers and 7 experts working on quality of honey bee products from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) will discuss about the current situation related to professional beekeeping in the Balkan countries and through identification of common problems and interests will work on preparation of an action plan for future cooperation.

The participants will focus their work on the following activities that could be addressed and incorporated into the future networking:

–          Improvement of the production technology;
–          Introduction of new and improvement of existing quality standards in order to produce healthy and safety bee products;
–          Improvement of efficiency and competitiveness of the honey bee production in the Balkan countries;
–          Increase of the production capacity;
–          Education, training and congregation of a new knowledge in the field of modern beekeeping;
–          Open and timely access to information;
–          Further joint promotion on the market and improvement of product placement on EU market;

According to the criteria set by the organizer, the professional beekeeper should fulfill the following criteria:

1.    Beekeeping as main professional occupation;
2.    Number of bee hives exceeding 500;
3.    Will and potential to approach foreign markets realistically exist at the moment;
4.    Innovative approach and dedication to beekeeping are daily practice.