Monday, 25 October 2021

Belgian Gourmet Company to Offer Employment Opportunities in Vrlika

October the 25th, 2021 - A well known foreign company, the Belgian Gourmet company, has chosen Croatia and more precisely the Dalmatian hinterland in which to do business. The country and the area of Vrlika were chosen as the best among an array of other locations.

As Novac/Jutarnji/Slobodna Dalmacija/Toni Pastar writes, the Belgian Gourmet company is heating up its project involving a chocolate factory in the work zone of Kosora near Vrlika, and one journalist from Slobodna Dalmacija was among the first ''tasters'' of the chocolate made by "The Belgian Chocolate Group".

Products from their plant over in Belgium were offered to the public because the start of production under Dinara will start in just a month or two, when the shipment of products from Vrlika to the rest of Europe and the world will begin.

Vrlika has built a Business Centre covering about 2,000 square metres in the Kosore zone, which has six incubator production spaces and the same number of offices. The aforementioned foreign company has leased four spaces, which it is hastily merging into one single entity and is installing a new plant in which production will start, and this will primarily be vegan chocolates.

The Belgians have registered the Belgian Gourmet company for their entrepreneurial venture here in Croatia, based in Kosore. Starting up the future factory is the main task of Luc Laureys, one of the co-owners of the Belgian Gourmet company and its chief technologist.

Croatia was chosen among several countries

''We picked Croatia out of a group of several countries, and of the micro-locations we considered, Vrlika was the most suitable one of all for us. Our plan is to build a large factory, so for this project, in the immediate vicinity of these incubators, we purchased a plot covering 27,500 square metres from Vrlika itself. Until the construction of that factory, we decided to start production on a smaller scale in order to receive the planned work in all segments, from the supply of raw materials to the training of new employees,'' they claimed from the Belgian Gourmet company.

When can the start of production in the leased incubators be expected?

''The installation of plants and production lines is in progress. When it comes to the technical part, we'll be finished in about a month, and by then we will, I believe, remove the all of the administrative obstacles and prepare the necessary workforce.

Is the plant new?

''Yes, we ordered these new machines from the manufacturer solely for the factory in Vrlika. We've invested around three million euros in their purchase, and when we build a larger production facility in the neighbourhood, we will only relocate them and supplement them if necessary.

How many workers do you plan to start with?

''We will start production with twenty employees and we'll then gradually increase that number.

When do you plan to build a factory on the purchased plot in Vrlika and how much do you plan to invest in that?

''Our goal is to build a new factory within two years. I can't state the amount of investment because we don't know the construction prices in Croatia. In Belgium, such a factory would cost us about eleven million euros. We plan to have 120 employees in the newly built factory, meaning in about two years.

When the construction of the chocolate factory in Vrlika was first announced, it was expected that it would encourage the development of dairy farming and milk production. According to you, there will be none of that because milk won't be being used in the Belgian Gourmet company's production of chocolate in Vrlika...

"The Belgian Chocolate Group" is the third largest chocolate producer in Belgium. In our range we have a number of products, many of which, in addition to cocoa, the main ingredient is milk. In the global market, the trends are seeing an increase in the consumption of vegan chocolate and other sweets.

When we founded the Belgian Gourmet company, we registered for the production of cocoa, chocolate and candy products. In Vrlika, we decided on vegan products. Many who eat our products at first will find it difficult to distinguish them from the classic, non-vegan ones. We estimate that the market for sweets as we produce will have the highest growth among people who don't want to eat food of animal origin.

You've announced that you will make maximum use of the raw materials produced in the area. What will you be able to use from local producers in Vrlika?

''These are primarily nuts, whose production we'll certainly encourage. Basically, we'll be able to get everything we need for production from Vrlika, Dalmatia and Croatia, and none of it will be being delivered from distant destinations.

Jure Plazonic, the mayor of Vrlika, also joined the conversation.

It turned out that our Business Centre and its six incubator premises, which we mostly financed from European Union (EU) funds, were a total success. We believe that this could really bring about a turnaround in the life of Vrlika, that it could bring it all back to life. This project with the Belgian chocolate producers is our mainstay.

They started in a similar way nine years ago in Vietnam. Today, the factory there has 300 workers. With my associates, I was maximally engaged in helping these Belgian investors. As soon as a problem arises, we work to solve it immediately, we open the door to them and I must say that we're doing it all very successfully.

What does Vrlika expect from everything?

''I already said, we expect a return to life for Vrlika. The factory needs workers. These will be the currently unemployed young people from Vrlika who, in addition to a secure job, as a source of livelihood, will feel good enough to start a family here. We expect that some of the displaced Vrlika citizens will return because they have family houses and then they'll also have the proper preconditions for organising life here, and we already have cases where several people from distant cities have applied for the selection of the first 20 employees.

We'll be happy to see such people in Vrlika because they won't be daily migrants, such as workers from Sinj, Knin or Drnis, but will instead settle in our area, and we will encourage them to do so.

Mr. Laureys says that without the support of you and your associates, everything would have gone much more slowly...

'''Our goal is for our partners from Belgium to pass on their good experiences to their own business acquaintances, in order to arouse interest among them so that after they move to a new factory, those who are interested, on their recommendation, can arrive at the emptied incubator premises here in Vrlika.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Croatian Craft Beers Winning Over Football Fans in Brussels

The Dynamo Bar in the St. Gilles neighbourhood was the venue for the Croatian "tap takeover".

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Manneken Pis Dressed in Slavonian Folk Costume

Original way to celebrate 25th anniversary of Croatia’s independence.

Search