The seventh decade of Vino Župa
“Vino Župa” as a cooperation was founded by the genuine need for cooperation of workers and farmers to sell their products from grapes and other fruits to the surrounding markets. With the development of the railroads, the shipment was possible towards the further destinations. Especially while the Europe was shaking with the fever of Phylloxera, it was clear that cooperation was inevitable.
“Vino Župa”, the spark and the beacon of cooperation in this region was a natural phenomenon, proven in previous decades as the only way towards the new knowledge in the field of production technology of grapes and continental fruits.
Six decades is not much, but six decades of existence is worthy of admiration on the clear path towards the bright future.
There were lots of struggles and stumbles, prosperity and rejoicing, years of famine but there were also the years of abundance. The moans could be heard, but also the songs of farmers while they were descending from the surrounding hills accompanied by the sounds of the overloaded wagons towards the mother “Vino Župa” to sell grapes.
For the further development of “Vino Župa” it is necessary to nourish and preserve our fruit base under the clear sky. This means, at any cost, to create an environment for the villages and modern farmers to prosper and feel the benefits of having Vino Župa as their partner who cares about them. It is the path of trust and success.
Despite the harsh conditions on the international market, the premium quality of products from „Vino Župa” is well known. If we recognize the premium quality of products as the premium from the nature, then „Vino Župa” is by the will of God, in position to use all these natural gifts of sunny Župa, Kopaonik and surrounding region.
We discuss the visions and plans for the future of Vino Župa with General Manager Rade Jevtović:
The effect of extreme external factors on the business of Vino Župa is evident, as with the entire Serbian economy. We simply can’t avoid the external influence, because we are the part of the world market.
„Vino Župa” is first and foremost, an extremely well located factory, because it has complete base of raw materials in the radius of 50km, except the citrus fruit. This factor, as well as good cooperation with the agricultural producers, provides great advantage and stability, because we always have secured high quality raw materials for our production.
We have cooperation with more than 25000 agricultural producers. This is very important because grapes and other fruit varieties can’t withstand long transport and require maximum speed of processing in order to avoid premature fermentation and spoilage of goods.
„Vino Župa” is very important for primary agricultural production because it’s technological installations can process huge quantities of fruit on daily basis. We are processing fruit of different quality since each quality level can be used for a specific product group.
With it’s unique technique and technology, „Vino Župa” manages to buy all quantities offered by subcontractors and process them into different products. This year, we have purchased all the quantities of fruit offered, starting with strawberries, then sour cherries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, plums, blackberries and other fruit. We are buying apples during the whole year.
Our aim is to encourage fruit producers to survive and become stronger by paying for their transportation costs. It is well known that all the negative impacts of the world economy affect them and our goal is that they become stronger and more persistent in producing even better goods. Only with good and stable cooperation with producers can we make progress.
Management of Vino Župa is very responsible in taking care of every fruit, so we often buy all surplus offered on market despite our season production plans.
The aim of Vino Župa is to secure that every producer of lower quality fruit will sell it’s products and expect the brighter future through fair cooperation and mutual trust.
Due to the need for modern production, high demands from the market and very bad situation at the time of privatization, large capital investments in equipment, technology, facilities and factories were initiated. Especially large were the investments in market.
Thanks to the large investments in production equipment in the recent past, we are now able to make to most out of the every quality level.
Investments were made in all segments of production, especially in primary processing of fruit into purees and concentrates and modern equipment for production of finished products.
From the purchased fruit we produce a wide range of semi-finished and finished products. We sell our products on domestic and foreign markets and for many years now our export has been higher than our sales on the domestic market.
We export goods to EU, Russian Federation, former Yugoslavian countries and lately, we are shipping more and more of finished products to the large Chinese market. Its great size and population opens up for us new opportunities for serious growth in production and sales.
Fruit purees, concentrates, pure juices and frozen fruit produced in our fruit processing factory are being purchased worldwide by big producers of juice, healthy food for kids, confectionery, bakery and dairy products
The largest exports are made to the Russian Federation, where our wines and fruit wines are present, via the largest importers and distributors of alcoholic products, in all major retail chains. We have renewed our cooperation with MAGNIT- one of the world’s biggest retail chain with over 15.000 stores across the Russian Federation.
We also take participation in trade fairs ranging from the wine fairs in Aleksandrovac, Belgrade and Novi Sad to the largest international fairs. We were present at the trade fairs in Mostar, Split, Amsterdam, Tirana, Cologne, Krasnodar, Paris, Moscow. „Vino Župa” has won many fair prizes, amongst them “Gold Medal” for wine Vranac – Brojanica on Moscow fair.
We are trying to maximally use installed production capacities in order to buy and process as much as possible fruit for domestic and world market.
All technological activities are closely monitored by rigorous quality control which is according to standards. The quality of our products is controlled by laboratory “Alfa Lab” which is accredited, modernly equipped and certified for over 300 physico-chemical and microbiological analyzes.
For us, ecology is of great importance, so few years ago we built an energy plant which uses biomass as a fuel. In this way, we have solved the issue of waste from fruit processing which we now use as a fuel. The advantage of not using harmful oil products is enormous and cannot be expressed in money.
Recently, as we have expanded, we are moving from the economy class products to a new quality in Premium segment.
Today, in premium juice category, we have la vita and jaffa fruit juices with 100% fruit content, without added sugar and water. In this category we have unique and specific flavors such as pulpy sour cherry, blackberry, raspberry. We need to mention multifruit and superfruit 100% juices here, because they are unique in Serbia and they belong to SMOOTHIES category. These are new products of extremely high nutritional value.
In wine category, besides red and white Međaš which are recognizable in the market for years, we can offer premium wine “Lagum”. These are high quality wines produced from selected grape varieties for sophisticated connoisseurs of fine wine.
We haven’t neglected spirits either, where we have fruit brandies such as Honey, Quince, Pear in premium segment which are well known on the market.
We are determinate to improve exports of:
– Semi-finished products (concentrated fruit juices and purees in aseptic packaging) of premium quality
– Thanks to the investments and modern equipment with new technological advancements, we have been able to reach the highest quality standards, which allow us a fair competition with world leaders in this category
– Finished goods – especially our brands
– Frozen fruit – (with high quality standards)
– Distillates, wines and fruit wines (in cisterns) and vinegar for production of Aceto Balsamico
In the future, we are focusing on the agricultural development. The nature has provided that the highest quality fruits, vegetables and grapes are produced in this part of Serbia.
The development model is based on the continued strengthening of cooperative relationships with farms, raising new plantations, implementing new species more resistant to diseases and production of organic food.
At this moment, we pay special attention to the pesticides and we implement the highest standards in controlling their level.
This model is achievable with further investments in technology, equipment, human resources and science.
From the statement of General Manager you can see where “Vino Župa” is today and where it goes in the future. The plans are achievable despite all negative circumstances and turbulences from the world market.