Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Croatia Did Not Import Meat of Sick Cows from Poland

ZAGREB, January 29, 2019 - Following media reports that a Polish slaughter house was processing meat from sick cows, Croatia's chief veterinary inspector, Gordan Jerbić, said on Tuesday that Croatia did not import meat of sick cows from Poland and that there was no need for local consumers to fear.

"An inspection of the documents attached to each animal shipment imported into Croatia established that Croatia did not import meat from that abattoir," Jerbić told reporters after media outlets released secretly taken footage of exceptionally sick cows that were being smuggled into the Polish abattoir and processed without hardly any veterinary inspection at all.

Jerbić added that more than 14,000 official inspections were conducted last year of live animals and of animal products, with more than 4,500 samples of imported fresh meat being taken.

About 700 objections were lodged regarding breaches related to the hygiene of products of animal origin and equipment in meat processing plants and 17 criminal charges were filed at relevant courts.

Jerbić underscored that inspections are conducted "from farm to the table," each stage being checked from slaughter, packaging and transport to the end user.

Asked about meat from the Polish abattoir, Jerbić said that an investigation was still underway. "We sent a query to the relevant Polish authority but haven't received a reply as to where that meat ended up. However, following an inspection of the documentation, there is no need to fear that that meat ended up in Croatia," Jerbić underscored.

He confirmed that Croatia does import a certain quantity of meat from Poland, mostly fresh beef.

More news on the Croatian agriculture can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Agricultural and Food Exports Growth Slows Down

ZAGREB, January 25, 2019 - Croatian agricultural and food exports continued to grow last year, but at a lower rate than in previous years, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said in a statement on Friday.

In the first ten months of 2018, compared with the same period of 2017, agricultural and food exports increased by 5% to 1.64 billion euro, while imports rose by 4% to 2.55 billion euro. Coverage of imports by exports increased from 63% to 64%.

In 2017, agricultural and food exports rose by 7.5% from 2016, when they had increased by nearly 13% from the previous year.

"The fact that in the first nine months of 2018, compared with the same period of 2017, the growth of the agricultural trade deficit was halted is encouraging. However, this year's deficit could still exceed one billion euros, which continues to be a concern," HGK vice-president for agriculture and tourism Dragan Kovačević said.

He added that Croatia still recorded the largest deficit in trade with meat and edible meat offal, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables. "This indicates a poor structure of agricultural production and low productivity, but also the fact that EU funding and rural development measures still have no effect," Kovačević said.

"In order to increase the volume of agricultural production and productivity, which is far below the EU average, along with absorbing funding from rural development programmes, Croatian agricultural production needs to be regionalised to ensure a stronger role of grants in increasing competitiveness," he concluded.

Looking at overall trade in the first ten months of 2018, it also increased by 5% from the same period of 2017, reaching 12 billion euro. At the same time, imports increased by 8% to 19.8 billion euro, with coverage of imports by exports falling from 63% to 61%.

Agricultural and food products accounted for 13% of exports and 14% of imports, the HGK said.

More news on Croatia's agriculture can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Croatia Declared Free from Lumpy Skin Disease

ZAGREB, January 22, 2019 - Croatia is given a status of country free from Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) by the European Union, and therefore there are no more any limitation for transport and import of domestic and wild animals of the bovine species, the Croatian agriculture ministry stated on Tuesday.

"Croatia has officially become a country free from Lumpy Skin Disease, and it has no longer any restrictions on the trade of cattle and beef within the European Union," reads the press release.

The decision to lift the restrictions on the trade of bovine animals from Croatia has been made by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee). The status of a country free from Lumpy Skin Diseases enters into force on Tuesday.

This is a result of a success of Croatia's two-year bovine animal vaccination campaign, and the campaign ceased on 1 January 2018, for the purpose of acquiring the status of country free from LSD.

"In order to help this sector to recover, we have designed additional measures for the next three years, and to this end we have set aside 195 million kuna to help the breeding of 65,000 heifers," Minister Tomislav Tolušić was quoted as saying. He thanked all stakeholders in the vaccination campaign and commended local beef cattle farmers for patience and cooperation.

The PAFF Committee is composed by representatives of all EU countries and presided by a European Commission representative.

The PAFF Committee's mandate covers the entire food supply chain - from animal health issues on the farm to the product on the consumer's table - helping the EU deal effectively with health risks at every stage of the production chain.

The PAFF Committee decided to remove the entire territory of Croatia from the list of areas "free with vaccination" regarding Lumpy Skin Disease given that vaccination against the disease has not been practised in Croatia since the beginning of 2018 and the results of Lumpy Skin Disease surveillance ever since demonstrated the absence of the disease.

More news on Croatia’s agriculture can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Croatia to Be Partner Country of Green Week Agricultural Fair in Berlin

ZAGREB, January 18, 2019 - Croatian Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić and Berlin Fair CEO Christian Goecke on Friday signed a partnership agreement as part of International Green Week, the exhibition of the food, agriculture and gardening industries in the German capital.

Under the agreement, next year Croatia will be the partner country of this fair, the largest of its kind in the world.

"Being the partner country of Green Week is not only a great honour but also a great challenge for our agricultural producers and for Croatia as a country that is strategically committed to sustainable, ecologically friendly agriculture," Tolušić told reporters after the signing ceremony.

Tolušić said that his ministry would present "the best Croatia has to offer" and would ensure Croatian enterprises access to new markets.

Earlier on Friday, Tolušić met with German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner, who visited the Croatian stand during a tour of the fair grounds. After that he met with Finnish Agriculture Minister Jari Leppa and Romanian Agriculture Minister Petre Daea. Finland is this year's partner country of Green Week, and Finland, Romania and Croatia currently make up the EU Troika.

In the afternoon, Tolušić is scheduled to attend a meeting of ministers from participating countries with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Croatian stand, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), features 13 exhibitors of agricultural products.

"International Green Week is one of the most important events for the agricultural sector. This is an exceptional opportunity for Croatian producers to present their quality and expand to new export markets," HGK president Luka Burilović said.

The exhibition is open until January 27 and features nearly 1,700 exhibitors from 68 countries. Over 500,000 people are expected to visit the show.

More news on Croatia’s agriculture sector and plans for its further development can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Better Future for Croatian Agriculture?

ZAGREB, December 6, 2018 - Croatian Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić told parliament on Thursday that a record high amount of 1.1 billion kuna (149 million euro) had been paid as advance payment in state aid to farmers in November. "Farmers can see a light at the end of the tunnel," the minister said during a parliamentary debate on the Agriculture Bill.

The ministry wants to help small and medium-sized farms to develop, and not to make business more difficult for big farms. The priority is given to animal husbandry, including pig farming, which has been pushed to very low levels in the past 20 years, Tolušić said.

In response to MOST MP Miro Bulj's comments on trends in the agricultural sector and on the market, the minister said that he agreed with the statements that it was necessary to raise awareness in the Croatian society of the need to buy local products. In this context, he said that the Agriculture Ministry was "fighting for that cause."

In response to criticism from another MOST lawmaker, Sonja Čikotić, the minister said that "it has been agreed that a new agricultural development strategy should be elaborated, which has not been done for the last 20 years".

The Agriculture Bill defines targets and measures of the national agricultural policy and creates a framework for the implementation of those measures.

The new legislation is meant to ensure the continued practice of direct payments, and defines legal foundations for prevention and reduction of food waste and for food donation.

Under the bill, international food standards will be introduced, and the Agriculture Ministry will be appointed the central coordinating body for the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to food, food production, and food safety.

For more on the agriculture in Croatia, click here.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Best among Croatian Cheeses Promoted at "SirCroFest" Fair

ZAGREB, November 2, 2018 - A two-day exhibition of traditional Croatian cheeses began in Zagreb on Friday, and over 290 types of the dairy product were put on display at the "International" hotel today, while they will be exhibited in the city's main square on Saturday.

The fourth edition of the festival called "SirCroFest" was organised by the association of small dairies of Croatia and the Croatian agricultural and forestry consulting service with the aim of promoting traditional cheeses and family-run farms and dairies in the country,

The chairwoman of the association of small cheese-makers in Zagreb County said that recently more and more milk farms started to turn to cheese production.

In February this year, it was reported that there were 6,000 active milk producers in Croatia and that last year a drastic drop in production was stopped so that sector now expects measures to revitalise cattle farming.

Even though in the last few months of 2017, there was an increase in milk production on the year, total production for the entire year was about 2% less than in 2016.

DZS: Cattle and goat farming on decline, while pig and sheep breeding rises in 2017

In Croatia, cattle and goat breeding as well as the production of cow's milk and eggs decreased last year, whereas pig and sheep breeding as well as the production of sheep and goat milk and wool increased, according to figures released by the national statistical office (DZS) in June this year.

Thus, cattle breeding went down by 3.2% while, on the other hand, the breeding of pigs and sheep increased by 9.1% and by 5.1% respectively.

Rearing goats dropped by 35.2%, while poultry farming remained the same as in 2016.

Last year, cow's milk production decreased by 3.3% year on year to 629.5 million litres.

Sheep milk production increased by 9.6% to 8.8 million litres and goat milk went up by 5.7% to 10.4 million litres.

For more on Croatian agriculture, click here.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Croatian Goods Sold Directly on Doorstep in Međimurje

Small family farms join into the first short supply chain in Croatia and avoid the middlemen for selling Croatian goods. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Small Farm Products Find Their Way to Major Retailer’s Stores

The company is ready to market them abroad as well.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Croatia’s Livestock and Meat Deficit Declines

ZAGREB, October 6, 2018 - Croatia exported more live pigs in the first half of 2018 than in the corresponding period of 2017, while at the same time importing more pork, according to data from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Local Producers Offer Food for Long Winter Months

The most popular items are pickled garlic and spicy marmalades.

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