USAID Competitive Economy Project has recognized Market Access as one of the key obstacles preventing growth in the food processing industry. A fragmented industry dominated by small companies frequently has problems competing in more demanding export and domestic retail markets. To address this problem, the Project is partnering with key sector stakeholders to develop market entry support systems by: organizing participation at world-leading trade fairs; facilitating B2B meetings with EU and world buyers; supporting industry leading companies to integrate smaller producers in consolidated fruit and vegetables (F&V) value chains; setting up incubator models with retail chains; and, developing integrated trading services.
1. Trade shows: In partnership with Serbian Chamber of Commerce and industry associations, the Project is supporting domestic companies to attend international trade shows.
2. B2B events: As a result of trade show attendance, companies frequently meet with the buyers who either visit Serbia or host Serbian companies.
3. Trade support: For many small companies, especially those working in niche sectors, consolidation of product offer is key to accessing new markets. From its launch, the Project recognized importance of mobilizing trade experts to assist SMEs in the fruit and vegetable industry.
4. Industry Leaders: Small farmers lack access to export and local markets and face competition from imports. Project recognized the need to work with companies who promote strong cooperative models and provide opportunity to small producers to succeed in a global economy.
5. Hub support models – Based on successful models in the IT industry, CSS is partnering with retail chains and RAS to develop an eco-system of support (hubs) for firms before they enter retail product shelfs.