by Amelia Ivkovic- O’Reilly
Bosnia and Herzegovina was green long before ‘organic’ became chic.
Centuries before it was chic, ‘organic’ was (and is) a way of life in Bosnia & Herzegovina. But like everywhere in the world, easier, less healthy practices crept into everyday life. As the economy slowly rebuilds from the devastation of war, a growing number of local enterprises are working to create a sustainable approach to development and promote healthy ideals. This beautiful country has over 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land of which 70 percent is hilly and mountainous. It is in these areas with clear streams unpolluted air and largely uncontaminated land – that the greatest opportunity for the establishment of sustainable organic agriculture exists.
Thanks to foreign experts and local NGOs implementing the ‘Development of Organic Agriculture in B&H’ project, an intensive development of organic agriculture has quickly become a fast-growing movement. In 2004 the Organic Control (OK) Association established the first organic certification organization in B&H and developed a program based on the international Federation of Agriculture Movement Standards. This has paved the way for closer cooperation with EU certifiers and ensured quality organic produce.
Regardless of international certification this tiny Balkan nation – due to circumstance and its geographic position – has long practiced this type of agriculture. The country’s exceptional bio-diversity, and ready supply of fresh water and an ideal climate have nurtured organic traditions long before the term organic became a marketing ploy. And organic shops are starting to pop up all over Sarajevo today. Their offers include the most popular global brands of organic food, cosmetics, and household items but also highlight B&H’s products.
We recommend you visit the following organic shops:
Address: Trgovke 21
The shop is located in a little square behind the main street in Bascarsija. They are the sole producers of organic buckwheat in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The products include a wide range of flour, pasta, pancake mix etc. They are certified by the local organic certification body as well as the German organic certification body. Bionaturea also offers a selection of spices, teas, jams and herbal tinctures, all made by local producers using proven natural methods.
Address: Ferhadija 25 Opening hours:Monday to Saturday 9am – 9pm
DM is a German chain selling organic food, natural cosmetics, baby products and general household goods. The ALnatura food brand produces a wide range of great organic food at good value prices.There are many locations around Sarajevo including the Alta Shopping Centre and one in Ferhadija in the Old Town.
Address: Mula Mustafa Baseskije bb.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 7am to 5pm and 7am to 2pm on Sunday.
This is Sarajevo’s most famous market. It was the unfortunate location of the largest and horrific massacre during the war. Today it is a bustling marketplace.
Sited in the City centre, one can find plenty of locally grown vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and herbs. Many of them although, not certified, are organic. The vendors are generally nice and helpful.
Makrovita – Ginger Shop
Address: Trg Djece Sarajevo, BBI Centre, 5th floor.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am – 10pm and Sunday 12pm to 10pm.
Makrovita is one of the leaders in promoting sustainable and organic living.
They focus on ecologically produced macrobiotic goods, organic food, locally produced organic vegetables and fruits, natural cosmetics and long list of other natural supplements. They also sell organic baby food and provide literature and instructions for healthy living. Makrovita has its own gardens just outside the City where various types of organic vegetables are grown. The staff is knowledgeable and pleasant. They speak German and English.
Address: Dr Fetah Becirbegovic 31, Cengic Vila
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm
This is the original home of Makrovita. They sell the same goods in both stores. The Makrovita Centre offers classes in macrobiotic cooking. They also offer various types of massages.
Address: Mula Mustafe Baseskije 4a
Opening Hours 9am-5pm Monday –Saturday, 8am-2pm Sunday
This small shop is located in Trznica (the indoor market). The entrance is either from the main pedestrian promenade Ferhadija or Mula Mustafe Baseskije Street by the tramlines. They store seasonal and local organic fruit and vegetables, jams, spreads, buckwheat pasta, herbs and herbal tinctures. The staff speaks English.
Address: Kranjceviceva 19
Opening Hours 8am-10pm Monday-Saturday.
This business is a result of an organic agriculture co-op called ECON. There are 2 components to the concept. The Organic Cafe is dedicated to serving fresh health food made of carefully chosen, domestically grown organic products. They have outdoor seating and there is a non-smoking section inside. The daily menu consists of salads, soups (meat is not organic) beans-and-rice dishes and fresh juices from local organic fruit and veggies. The Organic Shop is a quaint and well-stocked shop offering organic dried foods, canned food, spices, organic baby food, natural cosmetics and household cleaning products, as well as organic wine and coffee. They also offer home delivery of fruit and vegetable baskets.
Address: Abadziluk 13
Opening Hours: 9am-10pm Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday
The shop is located in Old Town opposite the main Bascarsija mosque. This small health food store sells mostly products made in B&H including traditionally made jams, spreads, juices, teas, herbs and herbal tinctures. The staff speak English and French.