The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe within the project “Rural development through integrated forest and water resources management in Southeast Europe: Rural perspectives: qualification, reintegration and (self) employment”, financed by the German International Cooperation (GIZ), supported the organization of the regional manifestation “XVI Days of Pljevlja cheese”, which was organized by the Municipality of Pljevlja, Secretariat for Economy, and was held on 20th October, 2017 in Pljevlja, Montenegro.
The XVI traditional regional event “Days of Pljevlja Cheese” presents a unique manifestation in Montenegro, with a competitive part. The focus of this manifestation was on marketing and economic aspects, therefore the participants were able to present and sell their products. For the third time in a row the manifestation was regional, where producers from the cross-border region “Drina-Tara” and other parts of Montenegro competed in presentation of special types of cheese.
The participants were welcomed by Mr. Budimir Bajcetic, Secretariat for the Economy of the Municipality of Pljevlja and Mr. Mirko Djacic, Mayor of Municipality of Pljevlja, Ms. Danijela Stolica, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the SWG representative, Ms. Danica Nesevic, Coordinator of the cross-border region “Drina-Tara”.
The Municipality of Pljevlja is participating with 13% of agricultural land in the whole territory of Montenegro, with 15% of cattle production, 11.000 inhabitants live in the rural area, with 400 rural households, where 3.000 is engaged in cattle production. Yearly the production of milk is around 2mill 2.000l of milk. The Pljevlja cheese is a traditional milk product that is produced in the northern part of Montenegro. According to the quality and quantity of production, it is one of the most important dairy products from Montenegro. In recent years, the Secretariat for Economy supported the producers of Pljevlja cheese through the association of NGO “Pljevlja cheese” in activities related to the protection of the origin mark of Pljevlja cheese, and since 2017 Pljevlja cheese has become the first product in Montenegro with protected mark of origin in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Montenegro, together with Njeguska prsuta which has the protection of geographic origin.
The manifestation “Days of Pljevlja” cheese is unique in Montenegro. It has a regional competitive character, with promotion and degustation of dairy products from Pljevlja, as well as other parts of Montenegro and the cross-border region “Drina-Tara”. Around 100 producers of Pljevlja cheese, young and old cream, sheep cheese, as well as special cheese types from other parts of Montenegro and the cross-border region “Drina-Tara” participated at the event, with submitted 172 samples of different varieties of cheese and cream. The main event took place in Hotel “Pljevlja” where the competitors exhibited the samples of cheese and milk cream for analyses and degustation. The prizes were awarded in several categories. The first prize for the best mature Pljevlja cheese was awarded to the agricultural household Miladin Vucetic, village Potoci, Plljevlja. The second prize for special type of cheese was awarded to the Goat farm Vucicevic, farmer from the village Kruscica, Arilje. Along with him was also presented the agricultural producer Dragica Ojdanic from the village Ravni, Uzice who presented her products under the logo of this goat farm. At the Dairy market producers were selling their products. During the event there was also organized presentation and selling of branded products from Pljevlja, Arilje (village Kruscica), Uzice (village Ravni), Zlatibor (Kriva reka-Dairy “Nasa Zlatka”, result from the CBC project SER-MNE), Nova Varos (Zlatar), Kamena Gora (village Babine) and Bijelo Polje (village Tomasevo).
The round table was organized at the Assemble hall on the subject “Agro-design – Montenegrin food culture” by the representatives from the Montenegrin Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Culture and Information.