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The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project supported the MI99 in meeting food safety standards necessary for the export of dairy products to the EU.

GRADAČAC, August 25, 2020 – The U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eric Nelson, visited the Mliječna industrija 99 (MI99) dairy factory today in Gradačac, and met with the company CEO, Indira Omeragić. During the visit, he learned about the challenges the BiH dairy industry faces during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also about the company's plans for further development and expansion.

“The pandemic had, and still has, a negative effect on the dairy industry and the overall economy in BiH,” said Omaragić. "However, that is not a reason to stop working and looking for ways to advance our operations, improve the quality of our products, and increase exports, especially to the EU."

MI99 was established in 2015. It is amongst the five largest dairy processors in BiH with 78 employees and 1,500 contractual farmers. With over 20 products that include different types of milk, cream, and yogurt, the company exports to the whole of Western Balkans, some Middle Eastern markets and Croatia, Slovenia, and Sweden in the EU. In just two days, MI99 will also start exporting to Germany.

“I was impressed with Ms. Omeragić’s and her team's enthusiasm. It is great to meet people who take challenges head-on and in times of crisis and continue looking towards the future. Exports in the dairy sector in BiH almost doubled over the last five years reaching BAM 106.6 million in 2019. This year is showing signs of a slowdown in exports. Such a trend will hopefully be reverted thanks to the efforts of Ms. Omeragić and other hard-working agricultural producers in BiH," said Ambassador Nelson.

The Sweden/USAID FARMA II project supported BiH dairy producers in meeting necessary food safety standards and prepared them for the inspection by the EU Food and Veterinary Office. This support enabled dairy producers to start exporting to the EU already in 2017. The project is currently helping dairy producers to increase yields and quality of their products to expand exports to the EU and other international markets.

MI99 is amongst 20 leading dairy processors that received the Sweden/USAID FARMA II project’s support.