Business

Organic Food Market Growing in Croatia

By 20 November 2016

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Organic food products are mostly bought by people with average incomes.

The market of organic food products in Croatia is now worth about 99 million euros a year, which represents more than two percent of the total Croatian retail market, which makes Croatia the ninth best country among all members of the European Union. The issue of organic food production development was discussed at the recently held Eco Forum which was organized by Biovega and the Croatian Chamber of Economy, reports Večernji List on November 20, 2016.

In the last five years, there has been a substantial growth in the number of Croatian farmers who have decided to turn towards organic food production. From 2010 to 2015, the area of land used for organic food production has been quadrupled, from 16,000 to 76,000 hectares. In 2016, the area has been further increased to as much as 91,000 hectares, but the increase in quantity is not being followed by a similar increase in quality of products or the necessary controls.

Although producers use numerous incentives for increasing the areas used for organic production, that is not being controlled. Also, there can be no serious organic food production without appropriate certificates, which are proof that quality control is being performed regularly”, said Jadranka Boban Pejić, whose company Biovega is now the leader in the Croatian market of organic food products.

Many people think that organic products are usually bought by wealthier citizens, but research has shown that actually the majority of people buying such food items are people with average or just slightly above average incomes.

Also, those who think that organic food is more expensive than the “regular” one are wrong. Conventional food is actually 12 to 14 times more expensive than what you can see in the final price on the invoice, since that amount does not include the costs of water pollution, contamination of fertile soil, the impact on biodiversity due to monoculture farming, pollution caused by transport, storage, extending the shelf-life, and many other factors.

Božica Marković, director of Agriculture, Food Industry and Forestry Department of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, said that the Eco Forum is a good example of connecting organic farmers with the Chamber, which has also spent the last 15 years organizing participation of Croatian producers at the major world fair Biofach, and also provides regular training for producers and other entrepreneurs which deal with organic food production.

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