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1840 International Consultant in Agribusiness – Export Promotion and Trade
Procurement Process :Other
Office :UNDP Country Office - SERBIA
Deadline :14-Aug-18
Posted on :06-Aug-18
Development Area :CONSULTANTSCONSULTANTS
Reference Number :48734
Link to Atlas Project :
00094785 - Aid for Trade-Support to Agro-industry
Documents :
Procurement Notice
Overview :

Purpose
To support export promotion and access to Russian market for Serbian agribusiness and food processing companies.
 

Objective
To further enhance export performances of Serbian agribusiness sector thus improving the agricultural foreign trade balance.
 

Background Information
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management implement the “Aid for Trade - Support to Productive Capacities in the Agro-industrial Sector” project, financed by the Government of the Russian Federation. The main objective of the project is to promote inclusive growth through strengthening the productive capacities and enhancement of competitiveness within the agribusiness sector in Serbia. Within two main components project aims to assist farmers and processors to improve their productive capacities and increase knowledge on market export information, as well as to strengthen cooperatives and farmers associations to participate in relevant decision-making process. Focus is also given to promotion of exporting potentials through supporting participation of producers and processors in international and regional food and agriculture fairs and promotional events. Finally, project will support optimization of national legal and regulatory framework in order to facilitate an enabling environment for export opportunities.
Agriculture is one of the most important economic branches in the Republic of Serbia, considering the availability of natural and human resources. Economic structure that is mainly dependent on agriculture has a significant impact on the structure, volume and tendencies in foreign trade of Serbia. The Republic of Serbia has 3.44 million hectares (ha) of arable land.  Approximately 90% of arable land is privately owned and 10% belongs to the government.  According to the Serbian Agriculture Census from 2012, there are 631,525 registered agricultural entities of which approximately 99.6% are family households and 0.4% are legal entities.  The average plot of utilized agricultural area per farm in Serbia is 5.4 ha, which is about one third of the EU-27 average (14.5 ha). The utilized agricultural land (UUA) makes up about 43% of the total surface of Serbia, and in its structure, fields and gardens constitute up to 73%, meadows and pastures 21% and permanent crops around 6%.  Majority or agricultural households are on less than 20 ha (96%), which is 55% of total UUA.


Agriculture in Serbia is an engine for development of rural areas. Agriculture’s contribution to Serbia’s GDP is around 11.9% in 2016 (7.7% agriculture, forestry and fishery; 3.3% food industry, 1% other).  This high participation in the country’s GDP has mostly resulted from Serbia’s fertile land and natural conditions for agricultural production, as well as the continued importance of the rural economy to Serbia’s population and delays in structural reforms in other sectors of the economy. Agriculture and food processing is a sector where Serbia has a clear comparative advantage. Agriculture and food industry is one of the strongest points of the Serbian economy. Trade balance of agricultural products is in constant surplus. In 2016, Serbia exported € 2,9 bn  of agriculture products, which is 12% higher than in 2015, making it one of the few industry sectors recording a trade surplus (over €1,6 bn).In 2016, the total value of Serbia’s agricultural production was $5.3 billion, which is 15% higher than in 2015, mostly because of good weather conditions and record sized yields for most crops including corn, wheat, soya, sunflower, sugar beet, vegetables and fruit production. Serbia’s livestock production represents approximately 34% of the total value of Serbia’s agricultural production. Proportionally, Serbia’s livestock sector is mostly divided as follows: pigs (41%), cows (40%), poultry (14%), and sheep (5%). The food processing industry remains an attractive sector for investment, given the country’s natural resources and traditional production.


Serbia is a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) since September 2007 and is currently negotiating membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Through its unique benefit of Free Trade Agreement with Russian Federation customs union on one side, and EU on the other, Serbia is the only country in Europe which benefits from custom free export for food products to both markets. Serbia is the biggest exporter of foodstuff among CEFTA countries and the only net exporter. In the food production and in the food-processing subsectors exports account respectively for about 25% and 35% of total Serbia turnover.


Serbia climate is between a continental climate in the north and a more Adriatic climate in the south. With more than 270 sunny days on average, Serbia produces a lot of red varieties of apples, different kinds of grapes, plums, peaches, pears and berries. Serbian sour cheery is almost irreplaceable in processing industry throughout Europe.  Serbia is widely using fruits for processing: plums, berries, sour cherries, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, apricots, for a variety of products such as jams, juices, jellies, compotes etc. All kinds of vegetables and cereals are very common in traditional Serbian dishes. However, quality of production is characterized by a low technological level, including old and traditional orchards and vineyards, old varieties, inexistence of irrigation systems, inadequate plant protection, inadequate protection from hail, old machinery and equipment for plant protection and harvesting.


Serbia has the potential for production and processing of high quality and healthy products and development of conventional, integral and organic agricultural production for the needs of the domestic market and export.​

Fruit production is one of the key sub-sectors of Serbia’s economic development. With around 62.000 tons produced and export revenues amounting to $230 million, Serbia was the largest exporter of raspberries globally and the first exporter of apples to Russian Federation in 2016.[1] Serbia exports more than 108 million euros of apples annually.   Massive apple orchards are expanding across Serbia, especially in Vojvodina with premium melioration systems, trendy varieties and expensive anti-hail nets. With a Ferrero investment on Serbian market, vigorous potential is recognized for high intensive hazelnut production.[2]Ideal climate for vegetable production makes Serbia the main vegetable exporter and supplier of the South-Eastern Europe. The most popular vegetables produced in Serbia are: paprika (pepper), cabbage, tomato and potato.

40% of the land in vegetable production is attributed to small holdings below 5 ha. Most of these grow tomatoes, peppers, beans, cabbage, watermelon, melon, onions and garlic, peas etc. This production is for direct consumption, internal use and industrial processing. On large farms, the most commonly grown vegetables are peas (30%), peppers (9%) and string beans (7%) and production is primarily organized for the processing industry.[3] Pepper production is oriented towards pasteurized pepper in different forms: shredded, cooked and roasted. Majority of red pepper is used for production of aromatic spices, but also for preparing a traditional Serbian winter dish called “Ajvar”.

Approximately 60% of Serbia’s agricultural land is used for cereal crop production including corn, wheat, barley, sunflowers, soya, and sugar beets.  The major agricultural land is in the northern part of the country, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina which covers 25% of the Serbia’s territory and 45% of arable land of the entire country. Production of cereals in Serbia is one the biggest components of agricultural output, with a share of around 68% of the total arable land.[4] According to FAO statistics, Serbia falls into the group of the top 15 countries of sugar beet producers in Europe, and in top 25 in the world. [5] Maize is the most represented crop with over 1.2 million ha sown, followed by wheat with around half million ha. This represents a share of 25% of the agriculture production value for maize and wheat with share of 6.6%. Cereal sector is among sectors with the highest value of the primary production, which additionally increases by further processing. Serbia is the biggest regional producer of cereals and, according to FAO data, it is the world’s 19th largest maize producer and the 35th largest wheat producer.[6]

The livestock sector is dominated by large numbers of farms, traditionally managed in low-intensity farming systems. They are characterized as self-sustainable, using native, locally adapted breeds. Small and medium sized farms are still the main suppliers of livestock products on the national market, except poultry, and they are facing a decrease in total livestock production.[7]Meat processing is registered on 4,709 agricultural holdings in 2012, out of which more than 50% is in West Serbia and Sumadija region, and 28% in South and East Serbia.[8] From May 2017, Serbian meat producers can apply for the “Serbian quality – Srpski Kvalitet” label - the country’s first national quality label - to set their products apart in the market.

Serbia has favorable climate, geographic position and other relevant preconditions for cultivation of organic food. On more than 15,000 hectares of agricultural land, Serbian organic production mostly consists of fruits and field crops, with constant growth of cereals and oilseeds production. Most of these products are exported to the EU and US market, but also there is high demand on the domestic market. Demand for organically grown producers exists in many countries, and Serbia with 2,000 produces of organic food, has excellent ecoclimatic and technical conditions to cultivated, in addition to berries and fruits that are traditionally grown, also organic cereals and oilseeds.[9]

Serbia's agri-food exports to the world consist mainly of grains, sugar, fruits and vegetables, confectionary products and beverages.  In terms of value, the most represented export products are grain and grain products ($752 million), processed fruits and vegetables ($520 million), edible sunflower and soy oil ($240 million), refined sugar ($166 million), wheat flour products ($110 million) and confectionery products ($104 million). Serbia’s total agri-food imports were valued at $1.6 billion, some 10.1% lower than in 2015.  Agri-food imports represent approximately 8.6% of Serbia’s total imports and are composed mainly of European and CEFTA value added foods and beverages. Serbia registered an agri-food trade surplus of $1.3 billion, or 2.4 % higher than in 2015.[10]

As an attractive investment location, Serbia offers competitive operating costs, customs free access and financial benefits, while investment security is fully guaranteed through the Law on investments. Through its unique benefit of Free Trade Agreement with Russian Federation, customs union on one side, and EU on the other, Serbia is the only country in Europe which offers custom free export for food products to both abundant markets.

Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP is currently implementing Business Acceleration Support (BAS) process for the SME’s in agribusiness and food-processing sector, as an activity within the “Aid for Trade - Support to Productive Capacities in the Agro-industrial Sector” project. For 10 selected Serbian companies from food-processing industry (mainly fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat processing sectors) UNDP will implement tailor-made activities aimed at overall enhancement of their business performances.  Main objective of this process is to enable scaling-up and implement business growth interventions, improvement of competitiveness and market position, diversification of existing assortments based on the market needs, value chains and added value activities, increasing of employment, certification process, export promotion and access to new markets. The BAS process has commenced in July 2018 and will be finalized by July 2019.

UNDP in Serbia is seeking a qualified international consultant to implement activities complementary to abovementioned BAS process, particularly related to export promotion and access to new markets (Russian Federation). The work includes research and outreach work in the Russian Federation, as well as one mission to Serbia where Consultant shall, together with the CO team, work in close cooperation with the relevant stakeholders (ministries, development agencies, private companies, chambers of commerce) and other stakeholders relevant for the subject-matter of the project. Consultant shall also organize and facilitate Business-To-Business (B2B) meetings in Moscow, Russian Federation, for at least 5 Russian and 5 Serbian food-processing companies that are participating in Business Acceleration Support (BAS) process.  

Consultant shall implement the following activities:

  • Prepare the analysis of current trade between Serbia and the Russian Federation in agribusiness and food-processing sector (max. 20 pages document, excluding annexes) aimed at providing relevant information for facilitating export promotion and access to market of the Russian Federation;
  • Present the analysis to representatives of 10 Serbian agribusiness companies participating in BAS process, with main findings, lessons learned, suggestions and conclusions provided;
  • Organize and implement Business-To-Business (B2B) meeting in Moscow, Russian Federation, for at least 5 Serbian companies out of 10 participating in BAS process;
  • Prepare final report in English language that will include overview of all activities implemented and results achieved during the assignment.

Scope of work:

Under the supervision of UNDP Serbia Portfolio Manager, the Consultant is responsible for delivering the following:

Analysis of current trade between Serbia and the Russian Federation in agribusiness and food-processing industry

The Consultant shall prepare the analysis that will include trends and volumes of trade between Serbia and Russian Federation, with strong focus on import of Russian Federation from Serbia in the field of agribusiness and food-processing industry products with added-value. The analysis shall comprise main products that are traded, future perspectives and trends, especially for high value-added products, niche products and HoReCa sector. The analysis shall identify Russian market demand for selected assortment of food-processing industry products from Serbian companies participating in BAS process. The Consultant will be provided with all relevant information needed for successful identification of Russian market demand (profiles of selected Serbian companies, assortment of main products with available quantities, annual turnover, number of employees, value of export, structure of the main buyers, quality standards and certificates obtained, etc.). The analysis shall also include price and volume comparison, main buyers and resellers and quality comparison. Consultant shall identify the main prospective partners in the Russian Federation (at least 10 Russian companies suitable for B2B matching process), as well as their needs in terms of volumes, quality, packaging and shipment frequency.

The analysis shall also provide an overview of the Russian and Serbian requirements and quality standards for each of the identified products. These will include import and export requirements of both producers and processors, required laboratory tests and documents, required certification export and import documents, customs regulations as well as packaging standards and standards for products (commodity specification, etc). These shall include Veterinary and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures, as well as agricultural and manufacturing practices to meet food safety and quality requirements. Finally, analysis shall identify the main hurdles in market entry for each of the identified products, as well as guidelines and suggestions for addressing and overcoming them.

Presentation of analysis to Serbian agribusiness and food-processing companies participating in BAS process

Upon approval of analysis by UNDP, Consultant shall present main findings, recommendations and conclusions to representatives of Serbian companies participating in BAS process. The presentation will be organized in a form of one day workshop in the Farmers Club premises in Belgrade, during Consultant’s mission to Serbia. The agenda of the event shall comprise detailed presentation of the prepared analysis, as well as presentation of the Serbian companies’ portfolios, interactive discussion, group work and Q&A session.

Exact time and date of the event will be agreed with the Consultant and companies participating in BAS process, but event shall take place no later than 31 October 2018. Costs for organization of this event (premises, catering, refreshments, translation/interpretation, invitation of participants) will be covered by UNDP.  

Organization of Business-To-Business (B2B) matching meetings between Serbian and Russian companies in Moscow, Russian Federation

The Consultant shall organize, support, implement and evaluate one-day B2B matching session in Moscow, Russian Federation, for at least 5 different Russian companies and at least 5 Serbian companies participating in BAS process (out of 10 participating companies). List of Russian companies selected for B2B meetings shall be approved by UNDP, while list of selected Serbian companies will be submitted to Consultant prior to organization of the B2B meeting. This B2B matching session shall result in initiation of negotiations between the Serbian and Russian companies and, consequently, business cooperation established. The Consultant will be responsible for the initiation of the communication and networking/twining between selected Russian and Serbian companies, developing a schedule of meetings and necessary logistic support. The logistic support will include the following: suitable meeting venues (e.g. conference room in a hotel; prior UNDP approval needed), translation and interpretation during the meetings and local transport in the Russian Federation (from the hotel to the venue of the B2B meetings), lunch and refreshments for all participants during the B2B session, as well as identification of a hotel for Serbian representatives. At least 1 UNDP CO staff is expected to participate in B2B matching. The international travel costs to/from the Russian Federation and accommodation in the Russian Federation of the Serbian companies and the UNDP CO staff are covered by the UNDP.

Final report with results of B2B meetings

Upon completion of all envisaged activities, Consultant shall prepare final report comprising overview of all activities implemented and results achieved, including details of the B2B matching meetings in the Russian Federation, with a summary of the results of individual negotiations. Gallery of photos from the organized events shall also be submitted with the report.

Additional Details: This assignment will be a combination of home based and out-of-country work. The consultancy is to be spread over a period of approximately four months from 1 September 2018 to 25 December 2018. Approximately 25 working days are envisaged during this timeframe. One three-working days long mission to Serbia is envisaged during this consultancy (one day for presentation of analysis; two days for meetings with stakeholders in Serbia – ministries, development agencies, private companies, chambers of commerce and discussion with UNDP representatives related to preparation of B2B matching meetings). The Consultant shall organize one-day B2B matching meetings in Moscow, Russian Federation, for at least 5 representatives of Serbian agribusiness and food processing companies participating in BAS process and at least 5 relevant Russian companies.

The consultant will be hired by UNDP through a selective process. Once hired, the consultant will establish the contact with the relevant representatives in UNDP Country Office Serbia. For maximum one week after that, the international consultant should be in communication with CO in order to discuss in detail which basic information is to be gathered, and in what format, by when, translation needs, etc.

In this initial period also, the international consultant shall discuss with the UNDP CO the best timing for the mission to Serbia. Mission of the Consultant to Serbia shall be organized in October 2018 (3 working days), while the B2B matching meetings of Serbian companies to the Russian Federation shall be organized in the period end of November – beginning of December 2018 (one day event).

Deliverables and timelines:

The consultant shall deliver the following:

Deliverable 1: Analysis of current trade in agribusiness and food-processing industry between Russian Federation and Serbia prepared and approved, deadline: 15 October 2018;

Deliverable 2: Analysis presented to 10 Serbian agribusiness and food-processing companies participating in BAS process – one day workshop, deadline: 31 October 2018​;

Deliverable 3: One day B2B event in Moscow for at least 5 Serbian and 5 Russian agribusiness and food-processing companies organized, deadline: 5 December 2018;​

Deliverable 4: Final report including results of B2B meetings prepared and submitted to UNDP, deadline: 15 December 2018.​

This is a consultancy over the period from 1 September 2018 – 25 December 2018.

Important notice: All deliverables have to be quality reviewed and accepted by the UNDP Portfolio Manager. None of the materials, reports, designs, brochures and articles produced under this Contract will not be used, released, and/or disseminated without prior approval by UNDP.

Application procedure:

Interested individual consultants must submit, via UNDP Web site: UNDP in Serbia under section “Jobs” no later than 14 August 2018, the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

The shortlisted candidates may be asked to provide copies of diplomas and any other certificates providing evidence of their education and experience in relevant fields.

The above listed documents may be uploaded under consultancy ref. 1840 at following the link: 

http://www.rs.undp.org/content/serbia/en/home/jobs.html

For more information on the application procedure please refer to the enclosed Procurement Notice.

Additional Information:

  • Individual Contract (IC) will be applicable for individual consultants applying in their own capacity.  
  • Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA) will be applicable for applicants employed by any legal entity. Template of RLA with General Terms and Conditions could be found on: http://www.undp.org.rs/download/RLA%20with%20General%20Terms%20and%20Conditions.doc. In the case of engagement of Civil servants under IC contract modality a no-objection letter should be provided by the Government entity. The ‘no-objection’ letter must also state that the employer formally certifies that their employees are allowed to receive short-term consultancy assignment from another entity without being on “leave-without-pay” status (if applicable), and include any conditions and restrictions on granting such permission, if any. If the previous is not applicable ‘leave-without-pay’ confirmation should be submitted.

Engagement of Government Officials and Employees

·         Government Officials or Employees are civil servants of UN Member States.  As such, if they will be engaged by UNDP under an IC which they will be signing in their individual capacity (i.e., engagement is not done through RLA signed by their Government employer), the following conditions must be met prior to the award of contract:

(i)       A “No-objection” letter in respect of the individual is received from the Government employing him/her, and;

(ii)     The individual must provide an official documentation from his/her employer formally certifying his or her status as being on “official leave without pay” for the duration of the IC.

·         The above requirements are also applicable to Government-owned and controlled enterprises and well as other semi/partially or fully owned Government entities, whether or not the Government ownership is of majority or minority status.  

UNDP recognizes the possibility that there are situations when the Government entity employing the individual that UNDP wishes to engage is one that allows its employees to receive external short-term consultancy assignments (including but not limited to research institutions, state-owned colleges/universities, etc.), whereby a status of “on-leave-without-pay” is not required.  Under such circumstance, the individual entering into an IC with UNDP must still provide a “No-objection” letter from the Government employing him/her.  The “no objection” letter required under (i) above must also state that the employer formally certifies that their employees are allowed to receive short-term consultancy assignment from another entity without being on “leave-without-pay” status, and include any conditions and restrictions on granting such permission, if any.  The said document may be obtained by, and put on record of, UNDP, in lieu of the document (ii) listed above.

 

[1] http://ras.gov.rs/uploads/2017/03/food-small-1.pdf

[2] http://ras.gov.rs/uploads/2017/03/food-small-1.pdf

[3] https://ipard.co.rs/doc/IPARD%202014-2020.pdf

[4] http://pod2.stat.gov.rs/ObjavljenePublikacije/Popis2012/PP-knjiga1.pdf

[5] http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#search/Sugar%20beet

[6] https://ipard.co.rs/doc/IPARD%202014-2020.pdf

[7] Ibd.

[8] http://pod2.stat.gov.rs/ObjavljenePublikacije/Popis2012/PP-knjiga1.pdf

[9] Ibd.

[10] Ipard