Diversity and Wealth of the Municipality of Novi Bečej: Geographic Monograph with Overview of Natural Characteristics, Population, Economy, and Settlements

Explore the deeply rooted natural charms and economic potentials of the Municipality of Novi Bečej through a comprehensive geographical monograph. Familiarize yourself with fascinating aspects of the terrain, geology, climate, water bodies, flora, and fauna, while simultaneously delving into vibrant settlements and diverse industries. This informative book provides valuable insights into the richness of this unique Vojvodina region, offering a broad spectrum of information useful for education, regional planning, and preserving local identity.

Food Industry

Within the food industry of the Novi Bečej subregion, three economic organizations operate:

1. Mill "Vojvodina" in Novi Bečej,
2. Mill "Oslobođenje" in Novo Miloševo, and
3. "Mlekoprodukt" in Novi Bečej.

Mill "Vojvodina" in Novi Bečej, like most mills in Vojvodina, was built and began operating before World War II. Formerly owned by the private owner Lenhart, after the war, it transferred into social ownership — under the name City Milling Company, Novi Bečej. The mill's name changed twice; first to "Žitopromet" in Novi Bečej, and then to Mill "Vojvodina".

The primary activity of this food company was wheat milling. Due to the aging machinery and facilities, a new mill was built in 1963 and equipped with more modern machinery. Soon, there was a need for silo construction to handle and dry market surpluses of grain in the Novi Bečej subregion. The silo was completed in 1965, and for more successful operations, the integration of Mill "Vojvodina" with "Žitoprodukt" from Zrenjanin took place. This joint operation with the Zrenjanin collective continues today.

The main products of the mill are various types of flour: semolina flour type 400 for pasta factories, type 400 and 500 for general use and white bread, type 600 for semi-white bread, and types 800 and 1000 for broader bread production. Among the by-products, bran (wheat husks) is significant, used in animal feed, as well as animal feed flour. The annual processing capacity is around 2,000 railway wagons of wheat. The mill sources its primary raw material within the Novi Bečej municipality. Besides milling, the silo receives and dries about 1,000 railway wagons of wheat, also from the same agrarian area.

The workforce consists of a total of 56 employees, 95% of whom are male. The qualification structure of the workforce is not the most favorable, but it improves each year with the admission of young apprentices, skilled, and highly skilled workers, significantly enhancing the mentioned structure.

By introducing new machinery, reconstructing existing ones, and increasing the number of workers, production gradually grows. This is also aided by operating in three shifts. The collective keeps up with new technological advancements and makes constant efforts towards improving and refining the production process. Production is simultaneously adjusted to market needs in terms of quality and quantity, which positively affects the pace of overall development. Since the silo and mill are located near the railway station, products are mostly transported by rail, occasionally supplemented by road transport vehicles from "Servo Mihalja" from Zrenjanin, which typically handles transportation for the needs of "Žitoprodukt" from Zrenjanin.

As part of prospective development and further improvement of operations, plans include the reconstruction of production space, introducing central heating in all facilities, and using gas, constructing facilities to provide new storage space, a laboratory, and staff dining. All of this, along with continuous improvement of production technology, should contribute to further strengthening and development of this economic organization.

Mill "Oslobođenje" in Novo Miloševo has a considerably smaller production capacity and fewer employees. As a milling facility, it is part of the Agricultural Combine "Uglješa Terzin" from Kikinda. It sources its raw materials from the local agrarian area and distributes processed wheat domestically through the mentioned agricultural combine.

"Mlekoprodukt" in Novi Bečej, alongside the mills, is another player in the food industry in this region. The initial beginnings of this work organization were represented by a simple dairy, founded by the Agricultural Cooperative in Novi Bečej immediately after World War II. Without machinery, in inadequate premises, milk processing was done manually until 1953. Then a separate facility for milk reception and processing was built, and the dairy gradually equipped with specialized machinery. Two years later, the dairy was named "Mlekobanat" and continued with semi-mechanized milk processing. From 1963 to 1965, a new reconstruction and procurement of new machinery took place. In the same year, for more successful operations, "Mleko-banat" from Novi Bečej integrated with "Mlekoprodukt" from Zrenjanin, where it still operates today.

With the acquisition of milk pasteurization machines, milk fat separators, Dutch vats for cheese mechanical processing, steam boilers for milk heating with technical steam, and refrigerators, the production of various dairy products began. Among the dairy products, cheeses (kačkavalj, trapist, gauda, grojer), sour milk, and yogurt hold the leading positions in terms of production volume.

The dairy sources milk for its products from the narrower and broader territory of the middle Banat. Livestock farming in the surrounding area completely meets the raw material needs of the dairy, whose annual milk processing capacity is around seven million liters.

The workforce consists of over 40 permanent employees. In terms of qualification structure, over 50% are qualified and semi-skilled workers. In the summer months, for seasonal work, unskilled seasonal labor is employed to facilitate the reception and initial processing of larger quantities of milk.

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