By: Francesca Masotti
Made in the Balkans continues with the presentation of the artisans, designers, artists and small entrepreneurs in the Balkan Peninsula. Today’s meeting is dedicated to Vicianum GreenFarm, a small family-owned business in agriculture and food processing, founded by the couple Qefsere and Qemajl.
Tell me something about yourselves: who are you?
We are Qefsere and Qemajl, a couple in life and business. We have studied fashion design in Paris at the end of the ‘70s, and for the most part of our life, we worked in the apparel sector. In 2012 we decided to transform our two biggest passions: nature and agriculture, in a small enterprise that produces innovative agricultural products of a certain level: this is how Vicianum GreenFarm was born.
What is Vicianum GreenFarm?
Vicianum GreenFarm is our company, one of the first in Kosovo engaged in cultivation, processing, and packaging of food products that are natural and innovative. During these years we have expanded our activity by cultivating more than 60 products, among them the asparagus and saffron, introducing many of which in our country for the first time, thanks to the collaboration with international donor and our constant commitment and passion to promote original ingredients.
Which are the products you cultivate and sell?
As mentioned above, we cultivate and then sell more than 60 types of products, including oil from seeds of flax, pumpkin, and sunflower; 10 types of jams, all with the lowest sugar content (although it is our objective by the end of this year to launch a line of sugar free jam), tea and spices. Almost all ingredients are biologic and cultivated in Kosovo, processed here and then sold. We also produce various types of vinegar, including that from wild apples and pomegranates, also original butter types made of hazelnuts, almonds, sesame and pumpkin seeds.
Which is the product you are proudest of and why?
It is difficult for us to choose a product: everything we create, we create with love. However, we can say that asparagus and saffron are among our favourites because these are the first products we have cultivated and with those we started our journey into the world of agriculture, starting from zero. Unlike other products, for example the wines, Kosovo had no tradition of cultivating and consuming these types of products: these are new ingredients albeit with huge potential. We have worked hard to introduce these to our food market, even informing the consumers who know are aware of them and above all, knowing their benefits for the health.
Is there a particular product that represents Kosovo and why?
Almost all types of spices that we cultivate or collect in the forest represent our country and have been traditionally used by the inhabitants. Now, these products have become trendy, but in Kosovo we have used them to drink or eat for centuries. For example, our grandmothers and great grandmothers used the althea roots to prepare herbal tea for curing cough, bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory system.
Where can we find your products?
The products of Vicianum GreenFarm are sold in various stores and supermarkets all over Kosovo. We have just inaugurated our store in Prishtina in Rruga Emin Duraku 18. You may follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and our website www.vicianumgreen.com or give us a call at 0038349123878.