This year's EkoFjera, which will be held on Prokurative from May 19-20, 2017, will be enriched with two parallel events. The first will be an international conference by the Chamber of Commerce - County Chamber of Split titled "Innovative systems of local supply”. The second will be a series of events which will be held at restaurants in Diocletian's palace in cooperation with Gastro Get, with the aim to connect restaurants with organic producers and exhibitors at the fair, reports Dalmacija Danas on April 19, 2017.
The director of RERA SD, Jozo Sarac, announced that this year's fair of organic products will gather around 50 certified organic producers, which is the maximum number permitted on the site.
“Our goals are to promote more investment in organic agriculture, as well as traditional agriculture since our county is ideal and has the potential for this type of activity. These are mostly smaller estates which are unable to handle large commercial production, but with all that we have on the islands and in the Dalmatian hinterland, we believe that they are worthy of our attention and effort together with the Association of Organic Producers of Dalmatia, Split-Dalmatia County, the Association of Gastro Get, the Association of Restaurant Owners in the city of Split, and the Edic project under which the event is organized,” said Jozo Sarac.
The director of RERA SD pointed out that the international conference "Innovative systems of food supply," which will be held in the Chamber of Commerce - County Chamber of Split, will present these practices globally, and the conference will be attended by representatives of the World Bank and IFOAM.
“A large number of exhibitors participated at last year’s EkoFjera, and this year will host the largest number of olive oil producers, as well as a lot of manufacturers of autochthonous grape varieties. A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will be presented, which is very interesting for restaurant owners and consumers,” said the President of the Association of Organic Producers of Dalmatia Antonija Gomezelj.
“Without good products, there is no good food,” said Vedran Sučić on behalf of Gastro Get, who stressed that restaurateurs should support OPG's.
“For years we have said that the green and blue of Croatia (Inland Dalmatia and the islands) should merge, and just one of such manifestations should contribute to that,” said Head of the Department of Tourism and Maritime Studies of Split-Dalmatia County Stipe Čogelja, who pointed out that Split must be branded as a culinary destination.
“From this year, Split-Dalmatia County has decided to strategically choose four events in the area of inland Dalmatia, the coast, the islands and the city of Split, which in the next four years will support the city of Split and the County to be branded the right way,” concluded Čogelja.
The goal of EkoFjera 2017 is to encourage the development of sustainable agriculture and the food-processing sector in Split-Dalmatia County while creating preconditions for the development of sustainable local and regional food supply chains.
EkoFjera emerged from the project EkoBiz, which aimed to encourage youth entrepreneurship in the field of organic farming and was funded by the European Social Fund. Continuation of such activities through funding from the budget of Split-Dalmatia County represents a real example of good practice of how to sustain the project, as it is fully funded by the Split-Dalmatia County this year.