Bosnia: Šumski Plod goes from fruit foraging to fresh berry exports

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Bosnia: Šumski Plod goes from fruit foraging to fresh berry exports

What started out as a small-scale wild mushroom and berry foraging business in the Bosnian mountains has turned into a professional berry cultivation operation that supplies demanding European markets.

Jasmin and Senada Djogic

Jasmin and Senada Djogic

With support from the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO), Bosnian company Šumski Plod has grown the business to compete in EU markets and help the local economy at the same time.

The family-owned distributor of berries and mushrooms operates in conjunction with an established network of contract farmers, and has relationships with additional suppliers to increase production.

Senada Djogic, who was at Fruit Logistica in Berlin with her brother Jasmin, tells how the business had transformed over the last couple of years.

"“Our first product was mushrooms and after that we started with wild berries and now we have a lot of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries,"” she says.

Nothing is sold on the domestic market - instead ŠSumski Plod has focused on European markets where demand for berries has been increasing steadily in recent years.

"“We are exporting all products to Italy, Sweden, Germany, Austria and the U.K.

"“We work with a lot of people from the villages around Prozor who collect all the berries and then we can store them, freeze them or supply them fresh.

“"We have a huge factory and cold storage facilities where we can store about 300 tons of fruit and freeze around 20 tons in 12 hours.”"

ŠŠumski Plod was part of a SIPPO delegation at Fruit Logistica designed to showcase export-ready produce coming out of Bosnia, as well as other partner countries.

“"The company’'s widespread network of suppliers offers plentiful part-time and full-time employment to people in rural areas and makes a positive social impact on the region,"” says a SIPPO report.

Earlier this month we reported on another Bosnian company, Tatarevich & Sons, that was also part of Fruit Logistica delegation, and how it is looking for partners for its antioxidant-rich superfruit, the Aronia berry. 

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