The Ministry of Culture of the Government of Serbia announced that the element of the intangible cultural heritage of Serbia “Social practices and knowledge related to the preparation and use of the traditional plum drink – slivovica” was entered on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
As it was announced on the Government’s website the decision on the inscription was made by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Preservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at its 17th session held in Rabat, Morocco.
As stated in the announcement, the entry of the knowledge and skills required for the preparation of plum juice and its use in everyday and customary practice on the UNESCO list significantly contributes to increasing the visibility of the intangible cultural heritage at the national and local level, as well as the international promotion of the “living heritage” of Serbia.
The nomination, which brings together the culture of plum cultivation, traditional crafts, food culture and customs, as well as the baking of plum wine and its use during private or public events, reflects the wide spread of the element and best shows how traditional skills and practices can be developed in a modern environment, preserving its importance even in the conditions of the development of modern society.
The Ministry nominated šljivovica in 2021, and the nomination was prepared by the Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Serbia at the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, with the participation of heritage holders, local communities, institutions and non-governmental organizations, associations, and the proponents are the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade and the Čačak National Museum.
The Ministry reminds that elements on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage from Serbia are family glory (listed in 2014), kolo – a traditional folk dance (in 2017), singing with the fiddle (in 2018) and Zlaku pottery (in 2020).
Another proof of the quality of Serbian plum brandy and other fruit brandies is the fact that their export increased by about 30 percent from January to September this year compared to the same period in 2021, reaching a value of over 10 million euros. Serbia exports the most brandies to Croatia, Germany, Montenegro, the USA and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The highest growth in the value of exports this year was recorded on the Swiss market. In addition, our producers are conquering new markets such as Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Malta”, say the Association for Plant Production and Food Industry of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.
According to the data of the Republic Institute of Statistics, it is estimated that this year the production of plums will be 15 percent higher compared to last year, so this will have a positive effect on the further growth of the production and export of fruit brandy, considering that around 70 percent of plums are processed into brandy, says the Association.
The quality of our national drink – fruit brandy, is recognized in the world, which shows the constant growth of exports from year to year, as well as the awards won by our producers at international competitions.
According to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, about 26.1 million liters of brandy were produced last year.
It is estimated that with the amount of brandy for own needs in households, the total amount of brandy produced is about 50 million liters.
This year, too, the state has determined incentive funds for the construction of buildings and the purchase of equipment, devices and machines for producers of strong alcoholic beverages, which are paid in the maximum amount of 60 percent of the value of the realized eligible investment, and for producers who have a registered geographical indication – 70 per cent, state in PKS.
About 930 producers are currently active in the Register of producers of strong alcoholic beverages. In recent years, on average, about 100 new producers are registered in the Register, while a certain number are deleted from the Register.