Organic products intended for the foreign market are, in most cases, tested in foreign laboratories. In this regard, the need to improve the capacity of domestic laboratories was recognized, which would contribute to the improvement of cooperation with EU partners and greater involvement of domestic laboratories in the analysis of organic products intended for export. Also, this would reduce the exporters' costs and speed up the obtaining of test results.

The laboratory for physical and chemical testing of food and animal feed within the Directorate for National Reference Laboratories has participated in the project "Organic trade for development in Eastern Europe" (OT4D) funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – SECO, and is implemented by IFOAM - Organics International (International Association for Organic Agriculture) in cooperation with the consortium Helvetas (Swiss Organization for International Cooperation) and FIBL (Swiss Research Institute for Organic Agriculture). The coordinator of activities in Serbia is the National Association for the Development of Organic Production Serbia Organica in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management.

An assessment of the current state of domestic laboratories related to the analysis of food of organic origin was carried out from September 2023 to May 2024. The activities supported by the project and for which the Laboratory was in charge were the following:

After reviewing the documentation and the satisfactory results of the participation in the laboratory's competency testing program, a visit by the project representative was also realized on April 15 and 16, 2024, when the Laboratory for Physical and Chemical Testing hosted the auditor of the Italian Accreditation Body, Dr. Stefano Raccanelli, representative of the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) from Bari, Ivana Simić, and the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry, Kristina Laković.

During the visit, foreign experts had direct insight into the work of the laboratory and gave positive evaluations. The exceptional potential of the laboratory in terms of modern equipment for the instrumental analysis of pesticides and metals in food, as well as the competence of the personnel engaged for these tests, was highlighted. Useful suggestions for further improvement of our activities and the possibility of future mutual colaboration were given after the exchange of knowledge and experience.