From rosehip waste to profit

How a small family business has found a profitable mode of waste-free production

December 13, 2022
Milan Kostić/UNDP Srbija

Rosehip is the fruit of a species of wild rose which grows on all kinds of soil in nature, is highly resilient and used from ancient times in making herbal infusions and preserves. From late August to mid-September, lines of shrubs full of these distinctive red fruit can be seen on the plantation of the Agrose family enterprise from Mladenovac. Initially, they started growing rosehip so that they could sell it as a raw material. 

- Once our first plants reached their full fruit bearing capacity, we realised that we should dedicate ourselves to processing. First we were mashing rosehip berries into the pulp used in making jam. The market did not have much of this at the time, and what could be found, was of poor quality, since rosehip is very hard for manual processing. The results of this processing effort were excellent, and it motivated us to go on – says Igor Petrović, the owner of this business.

Since the rosehip season lasts for three months, the mashing machinery used to be idle for the rest of the time. Agrose got the idea to make it useful by offering the service of fruit mashing for personal needs. Therefore they started to mash other fruit, such as plum and apricot.  

- As we were mashing rosehip and other fruit, up to 30% of the raw material was wasted, and we started to think about further processing. That is how we discovered the technology for the processing of the residues and new products were created: cold pressed oil, flour used in human nutrition and briquettes used for heating and fertilisation. At that point we realised that we had reached a well-rounded process in which we created no waste – explains Petrović.


The new range of products from this small business venture soon conquered the market with its quality. Simultaneously, it contributed to decreasing the amounts of waste created in the fruit processing chain. The importance of this is best evidenced by the fact that each year, Serbian landfills receive 250,000 tons of food related waste, 40% of which originate from food processing and production.

- I say jokingly that we are not rich enough to be making waste. The most important thing is that each of us do what they can. This behavioural pattern should be used in our daily life. In everything you do, you should try to save and use, rather than discard and waste. You should rather repair than buy, and improve things in your household and thus create an example for your children, grandchildren and neighbours – concludes Petrović. 


“Implementation of circular economy in the process of rosehip production” of the Agrose enterprise has been selected as one of the six best solutions within the “Bio-waste Management Challenge”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and in partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The aim of this challenge has been to help the realisation of innovative solutions in managing food-related and kitchen waste, as well as green waste from parks and gardens, in order to decrease the greenhouse gases (GHG) emission and pollution, and contribute to the development of circular economy in Serbia.