The project ECO CIRCLE – Agricultural Products of Western Serbia (TOGETHER WE CAN DO BETTER) aims to promote a new innovative approach to the production of agricultural products in an underdeveloped part of Serbia, the municipality of Koceljeva, which relies on traditional agricultural production and products. The project is aligned with the principles of circular economy and aims to contribute to the creation of highly resource-efficient eco-products in the future, with minimal or zero waste (“Zero waste”).

Creating eco-products – products with added value from multiple aspects, not only the primary product itself but also adding value to all materials and resources derived from primary production (such as leaf cuttings, by-products from processing such as pulping, juicing, peeling). These resources can be utilized in various ways: composting and marketing with added value, biomass for biofuel, or utilizing the remaining juice, peelings, and pulps for jams, candying, or chocolate coating, thereby adding value instead of becoming waste. This approach becomes an important instrument for improving standards, quality of life, and economic development in the underdeveloped municipality. It also raises awareness about the importance of circular economy and environmental protection, with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, waste, and environmental pollution.

During the workshops, project beneficiaries and trainees will acquire knowledge on how to develop their entrepreneurial skills, apply circular economy principles in production, and create their own products with maximum utilization of resources and by-products generated in their production processes. They will learn about the latest ecological packaging solutions for their products, prepare business plans, assess the profitability of their ideas, identify sources of funding, and promote their products. The importance of collaboration among producers and collective market strategies will also be explained, along with other relevant information related to collaboration. Additionally, the significance of raising ecological awareness and maximizing the utilization of all resources and by-products generated in their production processes, with the aim of minimizing negative impacts on the environment, will be emphasized. This includes adding value to all resources (such as compost or biomass as an energy source) and using bio-based and recyclable packaging.

The “ECO LABEL” will be presented, along with the conditions, criteria, and procedures for obtaining the right to use the eco-label. Participants will also be provided with information on how to use the internet to access environmental protection, ecology, circular economy, and production-related information to enhance their capacities, improve production, reduce costs, and generate additional income through better resource utilization (composting, marketing biomass). At the end of the workshops, participants will be invited to create their own product, applying all the knowledge gained, and a panel of experts will evaluate and reward the most successful products in the final phase of the project. The project aims to particularly engage women and young people in ecological entrepreneurship and environmental preservation, enabling them to acquire the necessary knowledge and support to create products from their own gardens and orchards, applying ecological principles with the highest possible utilization of their resources.

Ministry of Environmental Protection
Municipality of Koceljeva