Our goal for Nectar is to process every second apple that is produced and that remained in Serbia
“Nectar, as the real 100% family-owned Serbian company, is an excellent example of how a Serbian dream can come true – a family company that started from scratch to become one of the most successful companies in the region with six factories and an annual consolidated revenue of more than €107 million, all thanks to the work, commitment and upholding its values. On the other hand, we still think we have plenty of room for further development. That is why, in 2019, we launched a series of projects that will lead us towards organic production – we opened the largest organic apple plantation in Vladičin Han, we entered into a joint venture with Global Seed and thus into organic milk and dairy production, and we did a lot on protecting the geographic origin of the Arilje raspberry and Oblačinska sour cherry brands. And fnally, as our final achievement, we are the recipients of Best of Serbia award, in two categories – as the best corporate brand in the beverage category and the best brand with geographic origins for the Arilje raspberry,” says Mihailo Janković, Managing Director of the Nectar Company, at the beginning of the interview.
You are focusing on the production of healthy food with an added value for consumers. How much of your operations will be directed towards organic production in the upcoming period?
— We believe that slowly but surely Serbia is starting to be recognized in the world as a source of good, quality, delicious organic food. That is why we have been investing in organic product development for a long time. This year, we opened the largest organic apple plantation in Serbia, spanning 45 hectares of land, and invested 200,000 euro in equipment and seedlings. Over the next four years, the plan is to invest another 300,000 euro and cover all 114 hectares of land with our organic apple plantations. We will use the apples grown there to produce the Frutek Organic Baby Food, Life Organic Juices and for the first time in the Serbian market, organic squeezed juices. This year we have also made another major step forward – we have entered into a joint venture project with the Bio Panon Company. We plan to strongly develop new product categories and offer a high-quality portfolio under the Farma Organica milk and dairy brand. This is a big market step because, for the first time, we are joining forces with our partner on this investment to launch a new category of organic dairy products. It is also very important to recognize the right partners and align our visions, and, of course, to meet the needs of today’s consumers.
You also recently established a foundation called ‘Nije Svejedno’. How did you decide on this and how important is it to your business?
— Nectar has always strived to contribute to the community in which it operates. Socially responsible activities are an integral part of the business and an additional activity. We established the Nije Svejedno Foundation because we want to approach this area strategically and contribute to the society as much as we can with our hard work, know-how and experience. As a domestic, family-owned company that was founded over two decades ago, it is important to us to share some of the success with the community in which we live and work. We want to be able to look back at some point in time and to see that we have made a difference because in that way we all win.
What are the company’s plans for the next period?
— I see Nectar products in shops around the world. I know that we will continue to invest, innovate and push the boundaries. Our goal for Nectar is to process every second apple that is produced and that remained in Serbia. We also want to stay true to the ‘Nije Svejedno’ (It does matter) business philosophy in everything we do, as well as to become a regional leader in healthy food production and a global stakeholder in juice production.