Made in Croatia

Famed Pag Cheese Producers Turn to Production of Cream Cheese

By 29 November 2020

The famous Croatian Pag cheese producers are known throughout the world, and this company from the island of Pag is turning towards cream cheese production, regardless of the current dire economic circumstances which have arisen as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak writes, the Pag cheese producers are launching a new investment cycle and, as Martina Pernar, the director of exports and marketing at the company revealed, it is preparing to produce two new products. Pag cheese producers are, as she explained, turning their attention to the globally popular cheese spreads. The company has already invested in the purchase of a new machine on which it will produce two types of spreads.

''We'll produce two types of cheese spread. One from sheep's and cow's milk, and the other will be enriched with truffles,'' said Pernar, adding that tere are few delicatessen cheese spreads already out on the market in Croatia, so they hope that these new products from the Pag cheese producers will also go well with consumers.

Solar power plant

According to her, the Pag cheese factory applied to the tender of the Ministry of Agriculture in order to provide part of the funds from Measure 4.2.1. and is now awaiting the results of the move.

''We've announced the purchase of machinery, commercial vehicles and solar power that we'll install on the roof of our production plant. We also invested in the purchase of a machine for snack packaging for cheese cubes and packages of 100 grams with three slices of cheese. In addition to the machine, we also invested in packaging,'' noted Martina Pernar.

Despite the globally difficult situation as a result of the pandemic, the Pag cheese factory didn't lay off any workers due to financial issues. Martina Pernar says that, in as much as was possible, they protected their workers and partners and implemented rigorous protection measures. So far, they have not had a single case of coronavirus. Due to lockdown and the resulting difficulties in distribution, they have increased sales through the web shop.

''We redesigned our website and this type of sales channel achieved excellent results. We've also introduced card payments, which is something we've never had so far,'' explains the director of exports and marketing, adding that they have focused their marketing on the promotion of the web shop.

''Of course, you can’t compare a web shop to chain store orders, but we got a sales channel that did well during the spring lockdown,'' she said.

''We have designed some recipes for our customers based on our products. In that part, we expect an increase for the festive period, especially in the part regarding gift packages and gift packaging,'' she added.

The new season for the Pag cheese producers starts in January 2021. According to Martina Pernar, they have high expectations in the Pag cheese factory.

''This year, at the peak of production, we were faced with the threat of the pandemic. We were afraid for the health of our workers and we also had fears about the potential stopping of production, but everything went well. We managed to pay off all our subcontractors and we're ending the year solidly. Right now comes the time when Pag's shepherds have the most work on their hands. Sheep lambing begins, followed by milking and the production of Pag cheese, which lasts from January to July. We own a herd of about 3,000 sheep, and luckily we marketed most of the lamb before the spring lockdown,” she says, adding that she hopes the situation in the period to come will begin to normalise.

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