Tuesday, 24 January 2023

VeeMee: Largest Web Platform for Croatian Food Sales Coming Soon

January the 24th, 2023 - Despite being founded half a decade ago, the newly updated VeeMee platform is coming soon, and it aims to be the largest web platform for the sale of Croatian food yet.

As Josipa Ban/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the VeeMee platform, founded five years ago with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of domestic agricultural production, should be upgraded by the end of this year and thus become the largest market place, or online store of food produced in all of Croatia. This was announced by Marko Kozjak, the co-founder and director of VeeMee.

VeeMee has brought together more than thousands of Croatian food and agricultural producers, as well as some from Greece and Spain, and by the end of this year, Kozjak pointed out, all of them should have a unique online place to sell their products. The director of VeeMee explained that his main motive for starting the platform, which should be the largest in Croatia when it is launched, is the chaos that currently reigns strong in the online sale of local food.

"Just as an example, if someone wants to buy kale from a Croatian producer today, it can get extremely complicated for them. When they enter kale in the search engine, they'll get thousands of pieces of information about kale, but it will be difficult to find the actual producer, that is, the person from Croatia selling it.

VeeMee was conceived as a Google of sorts, but designed for people shopping for local food. When a consumer enters, again let's say kale, into our search engine, they will be able to select a region and get an overview of kale producers from that area, so they'll be able to buy their desired food easily and directly online.

Therefore, VeeMee's goal is to centralise the web shop, to unite manufacturers in one single place, because now they're scattered around and so often invisible to consumers," explained Kozjak. Currently, he stated, they're working on upgrading the VeeMee platform, on payment solutions and organising logistics.

"We want to enable more logistics options. We want to offer a solution to the route and cost of delivery to the small producers, and to the large ones the establishment of a central warehouse through which their sales would go," he said.

In addition to all of the above, for existing users who have a producer identity (PID) on the VeeMee platform, web sales would be a bonus as the price of the packages they currently pay for wouldn't increase, revealed Kozjak, adding that by launching a digital market place, their goal is to attract new, small producers who are want to carry out more web sales.

The additional competitiveness of the VeeMee platform is precisely the price, because the premium package paid by producers on the VeeMee platform is currently 300 euros per year, and when the market place, i.e. online sales, comes to life, the price will remain the same. VeeMee's solution should also increase internet sales achieved by Croatian agricultural products, which are currently very low, and which even the state platform Trznica.hr/Market.hr, launched back during the coronavirus pandemic, failed to increase.

''By setting up the VeeMee web shop, peoples' orders will arrive via SMS, WhatsApp or email, and the manufacturer will then have to confirm it,'' explained the co-founder of VeeMee, who, together with his former partner Nikola Vid, launched the first neutral identification of origin (PID) and thus made it possible (through a QR code) for customers to digitally check the product and manufacturer, i.e. where the products are coming from and what path the food they're planning consume has taken to arrive to them.

More than 25 thousand tonnes of food is ''sitting'' behind that QR code, which allows customers to easily check their food's origin and traceability. It is precisely this concept that gives them a sense of security because they know where their food originates and what path it has taken before arriving at their doorstep. The manufacturers, through marketing campaigns run by VeeMee, get to enjoy more visibility, and suppliers get a verified manufacturer and traceability of their goods.

"Last year, our visibility on social media increased by 36 percent to 700,000 people," Kozjak pointed out. In addition, he added, their entire concept contributes to socially useful goals, such as reducing the amount of wasted food and greenhouse gas emissions.

"With smart logistics, we save more than a thousand tonnes of food annually from being discarded, and we reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by that much," said Kozjak, emphasising that they're focused on the end result in everything they do, and the same will be true with the VeeMee web shop.

The company, whose primary goal is complete data transparency when it comes to domestic agricultural production, food traceability and increased production, finances all of its new projects from its own income.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Varazdin Company Koka First to Receive Proven Quality Label for Poultry

January the 24th, 2023 - The Varazdin company Koka has become the very first company based in the Republic of Croatia to receive the Proven quality - Croatia (Dokazana kvaliteta - Hrvatska) label for its poultry meat.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Varazdin company Koka was the first to receive and use the aforementioned label for its poultry meat, which proves that the product was really produced within the framework of Croatian fattening capacities and the animals were fed with purely domestic grain.

Upon visiting the Varazdin company Koka's factory, Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic noted that the first applicants for the same label were Croatian apple producers, followed by associated producers in the vegetable sector, egg producers, and those in meat processing.

"Producers in the pork sector are still in the process of getting their products marked with this label, and I'm looking forward to the readiness of our internationally recognised producer Vindija to take over and develop the Proven quality - Croatia label for domestically produced milk," said Vuckovic.

She also stated that the label that Koka's products carry from now on is indisputable proof that everything within that product has been produced right here in the Republic of Croatia according to exact and stringent specifications, from the breeding to the laying of the eggs to one-day-old chicks and their fattening up, all the way to the raising of the birds and food that they were fed on.

"It's a ''from field to table'' concept that promotes short supply chains and offers honest information about quality food to all consumers," emphasised Vuckovic, stating that slightly less than 700 million kuna has been contracted in the area of Varazdin County from the Rural Development Programme which offers funds for different investment projects and various types of support.

For more on Croatian companies and products, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Exploring Croatian Recipes: How Slavonian Can You Go? Pogacice sa Cvarcima

November 20, 2022 - It is getting cold in Croatia, the days are long and dark, and the Slavonian soul is starting to crave the hearty food of its childhood. The recipe we’re bringing today is like a warm hug from your grandmother, with just a little dose of a heart attack. But it’s worth it. Time for pogacice sa cvarcima.

This is one of those recipes that you needed to start preparing last year. It is made with one of the most exceptional ingredients you can find in Slavonia. We have no idea if there is an official name or what it’s called in other parts of Croatia. In eastern Croatia, its name is drožda, which could be compared to caviar or truffles in how precious it is. It is made during the process of making čvarci (Slavonian pork cracklings). To make these little cubes of fun, the fatty bits of pork (just under the skin) are usually fried in a large pot until a lot of the fat separates, and the pieces have turned golden brown. During this process, crumbs will fall to the bottom. Čvarci are then taken out, the lard is strained, and whatever is left (the mentioned crumbs) is your sweet, sweet drožda. Traditionally, this was done to use every single part of the pig when meat was not as affordable. These days, drožda is in most households kept specifically for pogacice sa cvarcima.

Pogacice is a simple sourdough with a healthy dose of the naughty stuff. They remain a very occasional treat, best served with yogurt, kefir, or sour milk. Their appearance at parties and gatherings is always celebrated. You can try and only have one, but we promise you’ll be happy to forget about the calories for a couple more.


1 kg of flour

2 eggs

2 tbsp of salt

250g of drožda (čvarak lard)

1 cube (20g) of fresh yeast

500 ml of milk

2 tsp of sugar


Start by developing the yeast in warm milk (250 ml), a tablespoon of flour, and two teaspoons of sugar. It is ready once it rises and doubles in volume.


Add it to all the remaining ingredients and knead a soft dough. Leave that to rise in a warm environment for about 45 minutes. Again, it’s ready once it doubles in volume and becomes soft enough to leave indents which do not bounce back. Knead the dough once again and roll the whole batch out until it’s about one centimetre thick. 


Before cutting into shapes, with a sharp knife cut parallel lines diagonally on the surface to create a textured top, adding a fun dimension to the pogacice. Use a round mold or a glass (diameter up to 5 cm) to cut them out. Bake at 180 °C / 356 °F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 1 September 2022

Vir Burger Costs 1200 Kuna, Creator Says He Needs to Double Price

September the 1st, 2022 - One Vir burger comes with a hefty price tag of over 1200 kuna, and the owner of the facility serving it claims that he'll still need to double the price.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Kraken Bar on the island of Vir offers its guests an apparently very special burger, which they'll have to set aside a whopping 1250 kuna for, and the young caterer Ante Basic behind this Vir burger claims he will have to raise its price.

Basic says he is aware that for many people, purchasing this wildly priced Vir burger is something that isn't accessible, but explained that these are top ingredients. He states that he is aware that prices in general are too high, but he wanted to make something very different and better than the usual offer.

''Yes, that's right. We do a burger that costs 1250 kuna. But because of it, I'm in the minus every time I make it because the ingredients are incredibly expensive. That's why I'll have to double the price next season. It will cost 2,500 kuna,'' Ante revealed to local portal Zadarski.

There are two types of top-notch and aged beef inside the burger. The pastry itself is made right there and is caramelised with brown sugar. The Grand Marnier sauce is made of top quality cognac, and the burger also includes goose liver, caramelised onion in a red wine, and green vegetables grown using UV light in 100 percent balsamico vinegar. The burger also has English cheese on it which they had to get special permits to import, and an Italian cheese known for having matured inside a cave. In addition to all of that, the cherry tomatoes get put on the burger in vinegrette tangerine sauce, and as a decoration there's also a large lobster tail.

''I worked out that every burger costs me 1248 kuna to make when all of the costs of the ingredients are added up. That's why I will have to sell it next year at double the current price because this is unprofitable.

The ingredients that go into it are extremely delicate and some are very difficult to find, given that my family has been working in the catering and hospitality industry for a long time, I've travelled a lot and tasted various things at all kinds of restaurants. Maybe this is the most expensive burger in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, but it isn't the most expensive one in the world. In Belgium, there's a burger made from diamonds and gold leaflets which costs 30,000 dollars,'' Ante told Zadarski.

Over the past year, they have sold seven of these Vir burgers, but Basic has stated that they also have other favourable specialties in their offer. Recently, a father and son from Vukovar came to try out one of these burgers because they read about it on the internet and wanted to try it.

''It's true that that happened, but this isn't a dish that you'll eat every week, maybe you'll have it once in your entire life. A guy might want to show off to a girl on a date by taking her for the most expensive burger in all of Croatia, and they'll share it, because it's saturated enough that it's enough for two people. My desire is to turn this into a special story, and those who don't want to pay so much can always choose something from our offer in a price range of 50 to 100 kuna. Our drinks cost from 10 to 2600 kuna, so there's something for everyone,'' Basic concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

71 kg of Food Per Capita Thrown Away in Croatia Every Year

ZAGREB, 24 July 2022 - About 71 kg of food per capita is thrown away in Croatia every year, totalling over 280,000 tonnes, and 76% of that comes from households, while the EU average is 53%, the president of the Food Waste Prevention Centre (CEPOH), Branka Ilakovac, has told Hina.

Prevention and educating citizens has not been recognised in Croatia as key in the fight against the creation of food waste, she said, underlining the importance of expert organisations constantly informing and educating all age groups and sectors.

CEPOH has launched an EU project to build capacities for the Green Deal made to the measure of local communities in order to help everyone who wishes to donate food.

The HRK 442,500 project is mostly financed by the European Social Fund and will last 15 months.

Preventing the creation of food waste is the most important step in food waste management as recommended by the European Commission, Ilakovac said.

It is possible to significantly reduce food waste by educating customers to change daily habits in buying, preparing and consuming food, she said, adding that during the 2020 COVID lockdown, households reduced food waste by 10%.

She said a CEPOH survey showed that nearly half the respondents cited an excess of food prepared as the reason for food waste in their household.

Ilakovac underlined the need to raise awareness of the fact that food waste polluted the air, the soil and underground waters.

Twenty-five percent of habitable areas and 70% of drinking water are used for the world's food production, which is the cause of 30% of greenhouse gases, 80% of deforestation, and one of the major causes of change in land use and biodiversity loss, she said.

That also accelerates climate change, which in turn affects the safety, quality and availability of food, she added.

Throwing food is also a moral problem because of the many socially vulnerable, undernourished and hungry people, whose numbers will only increase due to global inflation and climate change, she said.

According to estimates, EU countries throw away 88 million tonnes of food, causing a cost of €143 billion, she said, adding that Croatia, as an EU member state, set the target of reducing the throwing of food by 50% by 2030, which is also in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Ilkovac also said that Croatia had drawn up a 2019-22 plan to prevent and reduce food waste.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Love Croatian Brunch? Zagreb Declared Second Best Brunch City in Europe

July the 23rd, 2022 - Do you love a good, hearty Croatian brunch? If marendas, as they're commonly referred to here, are your thing, then Zagreb is the place to come to. This city has just been voted the second best European city for brunch.

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian capital has been ranked as one of the top cities in Europe this summer for a good brunch. The City of Zagreb was crowned the second best city for eating brunch, or as we call it, marenda, a meal that falls somewhere between breakfast and lunch, with a score of 8.85 out of a maximum of 10.

Only Athens in Greece was ranked better than Zagreb with a total score of 8.88 (out of 10). This conclusion was reached following research conducted by the portal Uswitch.com, which combed the ratings of visitors to 235,000 restaurants in a number of European capitals.

Despite th city's high ranking, the average price of a meal in the best restaurants is also the seventh highest in Europe. A visitor will thus pay 32.48 euros for their Croatian brunch in Zagreb, almost twice as much as they'd need to fork out (no pun intended) in the Greek capital, where it will cost around 16.6 euros.

For tourists looking for a good meal, Athens is the first choice thanks to the choice of 1136 restaurants where the average brunch is the fifth cheapest in Europe. Side by side with Athens is Bratislava, with a brunch being only 24 cents more expensive, or 16.42 euros on average.

Zagreb and a good Croatian brunch is followed by Malta's Valletta with a minimally lower restaurant rating of 8.84. Not only does Malta's capital city offer some of the best dining experiences in all of Europe, it also took the second best rating among European capitals in the vegetarian restaurant segment.

At the same time, the average brunch on that Mediterranean island is almost 10 euros more affordable than it is here Zagreb, and cheaper meals are also offered in Lisbon, Sofia, Prague and Bratislava.

In anticipation of another record-breaking summer tourist season in which visitors will be on the prowl for a good restaurant after seeing the capital city's sights and attractions, it is worth recalling the last one. Last year, 13.8 million arrivals and 84.1 million overnight stays were registered in the Republic of Croatia.

Compared to the pandemic-dominated year of 2020, domestic tourism workers, as well as everyone who indirectly lives from tourism, were able to rub their hands together with satisfaction with 77 percent more arrivals and 55 percent more overnight stays. At the same time, the City of Zagreb has been successfully building its image of an extremely desirable destination in the continental part of the country for the last ten years, with 638 thousand arrivals registered officially.

According to the latest data from the City of Zagreb, in the first four months of this year, there were 221.6 thousand arrivals and 510.3 thousand tourist overnight stays. Compared to last year, Zagreb achieved 165 percent more arrivals and 132 percent more overnight stays, but tourism in the capital hasn't yet fully recovered from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. By the end of April 2022, there were about 30 percent fewer arrivals and almost 17 percent fewer overnight stays realised in the city by tourists.

Over the last decade, as the attractiveness of the Croatian capital as a destination and its offer grew, with hostels, apartments, hotels and numerous restaurants being opened. The coronavirus pandemic stopped the upward trend in its very tracks, since the largest number of tourists to Zagreb mostly arrive by plane, and that mode of transportation was suspended for several months for tourism purposes.

With the summer now in full swing and with 2022's figures looking extremely promising, even outdoing 2019's in some areas, a Croatian brunch being given number two in all of Europe will certainly help place Zagreb on the gastronomy map.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

Belje Wins Two Gold Medals for Much Loved Slavonian Delicacies

July the 17th, 2022 - Belje has won two gold medals for its much loved Slavonian delicacies, shining a well-earned and very much deserved spotlight on the products from the often wrongly overlooked Eastern Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences in the City of Osijek, the very first kulen quality assessment was held in the organisation of this scientific institution, which is a long-term partner of both small family farms (OPGs) and large producers in the standardisation and improvement of kulen production. Kulen is just one of the many Slavonian delicacies which has been winning over hearts for decades.

Belje sent its premium kulen from the Crna Slavonska (Black Slavonian) and Baranjski kulen (Baranja kulen) lines with a designation of geographical origin for evaluation. Both of these products absolutely delighted the jury, which awarded them gold medals for their high quality.

"Each piece of kulen that comes from our production is dealt with by hand, as is the case with all of the family farms. We make our Baranjski kulen according to strictly defined protection specifications, and as such, we proudly highlight our European blue ZOZP stamp on every single piece of it. It's a production that lasts about four months in total and during which we carefully monitor all stages, from start to finish. We also produce kulen from Black Slavonian pigs, which we raise on our pastures in the Kopacki Rit Nature Park," said Ljiljana Vajda-Mlinacek, Belje's head of corporate communications.

Goran Kusec, a professor at FAZOS (the aforementioned scientific institution in Osijek) and one of the best connoisseurs of kulen in all of the Republic of Croatia, commented on the evaluation and the quality of the samples sent for evaluation.

"For many years now, together with my colleagues from the Faculty of Food Technology, I've been evaluating kulen throughout the Eastern Croatian regions of Slavonia and Baranja. This year, we decided that the time had come to organise a proper evaluation within a large scientific institution, such as our faculty, in order to further emphasise the importance of kulen and its production for the entire region. 33 kulen samples from all five Slavonian counties took part in the evaluation and all of them were excellent. We evaluated the cut, taste and smell of kulen according to international standards and norms,'' concluded Kusec when discussing these Slavonian delicacies which more than deserve the limelight.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Croatian Tomatoes to Hit Market With New Proven Quality Label

July the 7th, 2022 - Croatian tomatoes are set to hit the market and the shelves boasting a brand new ''proven quality'' (dokazana kvaliteta) label, much like other products have done over the last couple of years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the Ministry of Agriculture passed the Decision on the recognition of the ''proven quality'' label for vegetables, the request for the recognition of the same label was submitted by the Association of Associations of Croatian Vegetable Growers.

The first producers who successfully completed the process of confirming the conformity of tomato production with the ''proven quality'' label for vegetables are Belje plus d.o.o. and Fructus glasshouses d.o.o. and soon it will be possible to buy Croatian tomatoes with this label on the market.

Vegetable producers who use the ''proven quality - Croatia/dokazana kvaliteta - Hrvatska'' label must ensure that these vegetables undergo a production process according to very precisely defined criteria in their specification, which includes care for environmental protection through the responsible use of fertilisers and pesticides, the use of the optimal time of harvesting those vegetables, the length of time spent in transport in order to preserve the nutritional value of the product, and the proper selection of the packaging that protects the vegetables from damage during their storage and transport.

It's worth noting that the first sector that recognised the advantage of this system was the fruit production sector, and the request for recognition of the ''proven quality'' label for fruit was submitted by the Croatian Fruit Association, and from October 2021, apples marked with this label could be bought on the market.

Another sector that has also recognised the advantage of this system is the consumption egg sector, and the request for the recognition of the ''proven quality'' label for consumption eggs was submitted by the Poultry Science Association, and consumption eggs marked with this label have been available for purchase on the market since February 2022.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

One in Five Croatian Citizens Eat Meat Everyday

ZAGREB, 8 May 2022 - One in five Croatian citizens eat meat every day, 69% eat it several times a week, and chicken and pork are the most consumed ones, a survey by the JaTrgovac magazine and the Hendal market research agency shows.

According to the survey, 7.6% of respondents eat meat several times a month and 1.6% do so rarely. It also shows that almost 98% of the population are meat eaters.

Chicken is most often consumed by 55.1% of citizens, followed by pork (31.8%), veal (9.7%), turkey (2.6%) and lamb (0.8%).

As for preference, 39.3% of respondents love chicken the most, followed by pork (21.3%), veal (17.1%) and lamb (15.3%). Turkey is the favourite meat of 4% of respondents.

As for cured meat, the most consumed one is bacon (33.5%), followed by sausage (19.7%) and ham (16.8%).

Bacon is the favourite cured meat of 29.1% of respondents, followed by prosciutto (28%), ham (12.8%) and sausage (12.5%).

The survey was conducted in March and the respondents were aged 16 and older.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Croatian Domacica Biscuits Spark Sexism, Feminism Debates

May the 5th, 2022 - The much loved Croatian domacica biscuits, of all things, have been causing quite a stir of late, with debates about sexism and the singling out of women coming to the fore. Kras' popular snack has found itself in some seemingly accidental hot water.

Domacica, which if you speak Croatian, you'll know means housewife, has now been joined by words such as umjetnica (female artist), menadjerica (female manager), pravnica (female lawyer) and the list goes on. While it seems Kras' intention was to highlight how women belong in high roles just like men do, for some the opposite reaction has occurred.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, "Housewife and artist", "Housewife and programmer", "Housewife and manager", "Housewife and lawyer"…, are just some of the names of the new movement of Kras' popular Croatian Domacica biscuits.

All of this, of course, didn't manage to hit the shelves and pass people's attention without numerous reactions on social media. Many feel that there is no need for so much political correctness, and others feel like another stab at women is being taken, be it intentional or not.

"And what's wrong with being just a housewife?" one social media user asked.

"There's nothing quite as enjoyable as buying some of your unnecessarily expensive but still favourite biscuits and being greeted by political propaganda trying to teach you how to think," one Twitter user wrote.

"When a biscuit is just a ''programmer'' or ''manager'' and there is a 'domacin' (an unemployed man who takes care of the house and cooks lunch), this policy from Kras will make sense," one Twitter user wrote, as N1 reports.

"Kras made us a whole collection to understand what we can also be, alongside being housewives," another Twitter user wrote.

Still, there are others who think the Croatian Domacica biscuits campaign has hit the right mark.

"The name Domacica is well known now and they're trying to play around with words a little. They aren't creating a new brand but instead using the same name with creative ideas. It isn't ideal, but not every shift has to be the status quo. A great example for me is Dorina & cvarci, they've been sold out, there were waiting lists for them, what a great PR stunt,'' wrote one woman.

Many people were surprised because they always thought that the name Domacica merely referred to the idea of homemade biscuits themselves.

Kras also spoke up and attempted to explain the goal of this campaign, which appears to have got a little lost along the way...

"After numerous inquiries, we're now responding with some more information. The goal of our new Domacica campaign is to raise public awareness of the importance and complexity of the responsibilities that women most often take on in the household and to make them aware that caring for the household should be the common job of all household members.

With this goal, primarily in order to attract the attention of people and to open up discussion around a very important topic, we put Croatian Domacica biscuits out in a special issue on the shelves as the first step of our campaign. In addition to the inscription Domacica, we added several frequent occupations to the biscuit boxes, as far as the production process allows, to remind us that women, in addition to their work at work, are most often the ones who take care of the household on a daily basis as well. With the campaign, we want to encourage all members of society to take their share of obligations and responsibilities in the home so that the distribution of household chores is equal.

In collaboration with Ipsos, we conducted a survey in which the majority of respondents, both adult women (70 percent) and adult men (51 percent), as well as teenage girls (73 percent) and teenager boys (72 percent), claim that women do most of the work in the household. In the next phase of the campaign on social media, we'll use challenges to encourage people to take on some of the household chores and document specific activities by which they participate in the equal division of those said chores.

Part of the campaign will be educating the younger generation about their own responsibility towards household chores and the importance of the fair division of household chores among all members to encourage them to create the right habits from childhood and adopt them for the future. In agreement with the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, we're launching an initiative to change part of the definition of housewife in certain dictionaries and modernise this concept.

We believe that the public will recognise the true intention of this campaign and we're calling on everyone to get involved in raising awareness and promoting this socially important topic,'' they said from Kras.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

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