After delivering 150,000 litres of juice to a buyer in Switzerland last year, the Croatian agricultural cluster GoGreen will this year deliver 30 tonnes of the same product to a purchaser in Great Britain. The group has opened negotiations with customers in Sweden and China, as well as a channel towards Switzerland, reports Poslovni.hr on 10 August 2017.
Alan Slapar, founder and CEO of GoGreen, says they see additional business opportunities locally as well, particular in the Croatian Adriatic counties, which have been visited by ten million tourists since the beginning of the year.
GoGreen has just made its first deal with a retail chain and has signed an agreement with Studenac, the largest retail chain in Dalmatia. “We have started with a pilot project of placing agricultural products in shops in the Adriatic countries. We have delivered the first consignment of raspberries under the GoGreen brand to Studenac, and now we are planning to expand to other fruits and vegetables,” says Slapar.
Studenac has more than 300 stores in Dalmatia, including the islands. Slapar says they have started collaborating with the chain due to its format. The chain mostly consists of small, neighbourhood stores. In addition, they have decided to cooperate with them first because they can easily manage their GoGreen brand, which brings together products produced exclusively by Croatian family farms which are committed to a certain level of quality.
They are in negotiations about a similar project with Sweden. “In order to develop exports, we want to introduce a standardised quality control system, and we are in final preparations for signing a contract with the Andrija Štampar Public Health Institute in this regard,” says Slapar.
He adds that their wish is to formalise the cooperation by which the Institute's technicians control the quality of GoGreen products. Such a move would not only have an impact on the placement of their branded fruit baskets but also on large export deliveries.
Slapar also explains says that they are learning a lot through the pilot project with Studenac. Among other things, they now know a lot more about differences in demand on individual locations on the Adriatic coast. This will enable them to expand their cooperation to all the berry fruits, but also to products that they supply from the Neretva river valley, such as watermelons, melons, plums, apricots, peaches and citrus fruits. “This is a good test for GoGreen because it is our intention to be a kind of stock market for agricultural products and a tool which enables better planning of sales for producers and buyers,” says Slapar.
He adds that the largest retailers have also recognised this. Lidl has contacted them, but they had to postpone cooperation with the company. “At this point, we still do not have the quantities needed to work with Lidl; we have to grow even more. Last year, we had 620 family farms and other manufacturers, and today this figure is closer to 750. But, we are intensely working on bringing the business to even higher level next year, both for producers and customers,” concludes Slapar.
Translated from Poslovni.hr