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ŠUMARSKI LIST 3-4/2017 str. 54     <-- 54 -->        PDF

in Vojvodina (Keča et al. 2012), and in the statistical region of Belgrade, about 77.5 % (Keča 2013).
Products that were most represented on the domestic and foreign markets were: boletus, raspberries, as well as different kinds of sweet and jam. The most important markets for medicinal and aromatic plants were Germany and Austria, and Germany is the most important market concerning honey and honey products.
Variables used in cluster analysis were selected based on previous theoretical and experiential knowledge of researchers (Soldić-Aleksić and Chroneos Krasavac 2009). The selection of variables in the research conducted was performed based on the relevance for cluster analysis of the company and thus for market research of NWFPs in Serbia. In this way three clusters were defined where each of them was focused on a specific category of NWFPs, in terms of purchase of raw products, placement on the domestic market and export.
It is important to highlight that each cluster belonged to a different statistical region. Moreover, different categories of NWFPs prevailed in each cluster. In addition to market advantages such as flexibility, adaptability to change and innovation, SMEs were faced with obstacles (Beck and Demirguc-Kunt 2006) which primarily occurred under the influence of globalisation, and due to a difficult access to foreign markets (Acs et al. 1997). Furthermore, the problems faced by the companies surveyed included the lack of adequate markets, difficulties in the collection of receivables and customer disloyalty and competition, as well as also difficult soil conditions particularly in Central Serbia and the issue of collection of receivables (Marčeta and Keča 2014).
Out of the total 119 companies surveyed three clusters were formed. The largest number of companies surveyed was located in the statistical region Šumadija and Western Serbia (55 companies), and the smallest number of them was from the Statistical Region of Belgrade (9). The „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” cluster accounted for 73.9% of the companies surveyed and the largest were those focusing on the purchase, processing and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants. This cluster was named „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” and these companies were mainly situated on the territory of Vojvodina. The“Berries” cluster consisted of 13.5% of the companies surveyed, and those were mainly focused on wild berries. This cluster was named „Berries” and primarily comprised of companies from the Southern and Eastern Serbia. The share of the „Mixed products” cluster stood at 12.6% amongst the companies surveyed and they were mainly focused on mushrooms and berries and were hence named „Mixed products“ and most of them were located on the territory of Šumadija and Western Serbia.
According to average annual growth rate, concerning the purchase and sale of medicinal plants on the domestic market, the „Medicinal and Aromatic plants“ cluster recorded strong growth, whilst exports showed stagnation. The „Berries“ cluster shows a rise in the purchase of all the analysed types of berries and simultaneously a drop in their placement on the domestic market and export. The „Mixed products“ cluster recorded negative growth rates in this category of products, both in the purchase and the sales in the domestic market and export. The exception was the oyster mushroom which achieved growth repurchase of 33%.
Capacities in specific clusters were used intensively for the dominant categories of NWFPs. In the cluster „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” capacity utilisation for medicinal and aromatic plants was 45%, whilst in the „Berries” cluster the utilisation of berries was 26.5%. In the „Mixed products” cluster the utilization for mushrooms was 8.8%.
In the „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” cluster 93% of enterprises did not intend to expand the product range, in the „Berries” cluster the share of such companies stood at 80%, whilst in the „Mixed products” cluster 56% of the companies had no intention of expanding their product portfolio.
Price competitiveness on the domestic market in the „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” cluster was recorded in 71% of the companies surveyed, while in the „Mixed products” cluster such companies accounted for 52%. As opposed to to cluster 2 most companies emphasised that their prices were not competitive on the domestic market (87%).
Concerning the aspect of price competitiveness on foreign markets the differences between the „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” cluster and the „Berries” cluster were the most significant.
Hence, in the „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” cluster 77% of the companies surveyed highlighted the competitiveness of prices on the foreign market, while nearly 90% of the companies in the „Mixed products” cluster stated that their prices were not competitive on the foreign market. In the „Berries” cluster the companies noted the existence of price competitiveness on the foreign market.
Concerning the „Medicinal and Aromatic plants” cluster export to WB countries and to other parts of Europe was balanced (Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, etc.) (50:50%). In case of the „Berries” cluster the export was primarily focused on European countries (excluding WB countries) 87.5:12.5% and the remainder on diverse parts of the world. In the „Mixed products” cluster 100% of total exports were focused on the European countries (excluding WB countries).
Concerning the promotional activities in the cluster 1 the most common promotion was through the Internet, whilst in the „Berries” cluster and in the „Mushrooms” cluster the