Pasta Manufacturer Opens 38 Million Plant

By 13 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 13, 2019 - A new plant of Croatian fresh pasta manufacturer Naše Klasje, in which over 38 million kuna has been invested, was inaugurated near Zaprešić, just west of Zagreb, on Saturday.

The plant spreads over 3,000 square metres. The European Regional Development Fund co-financed the project with 15 million kuna.

Inaugurating the plant, Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović said this investment was an example of good synergy between entrepreneurs and local government, and that it was in line with the government's policy of partnership with local government.

"It's important to create conditions so that companies like Naše Klasje can progress and expand production. It's the only way we can move forward, create new values and connect innovation, knowledge and tradition," he said.

Naše Klasje owner and director Zoran Šimunić said the company's goal was to boost exports. Over the past seven years, the company has been exporting over 35% of its product and the goal is to surpass 50%. The company exports to ten countries, from Greece to Germany, and a contract was signed last week to export to Sweden.

Šimunić told reporters Croatia still did not produce enough pasta and that import was considerable, although it dropped from 94% in 2000 to 50% in 2009, despite a constant rise in consumption.

Croatian Chamber of Commerce president Luka Burilović said the food industry accounted for the highest share in total employment and GDP, and that agricultural and food products accounted for 14% of commodity exports last year.

Over the past 20 years, pasta production in Croatia has faced increased competition due to the liberalisation of the market, which prompted some companies, including Naše Klasje, to see this market openness as an opportunity and invest in new plants to increase production and exports.

Naše Klasje employs 40 people and plans to hire another 12. It was established in 2001 as a greenfield investment in food production.

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