Saturday, 27 April 2019

Croatian Fruit Arriving in Slovenia and Austria Just 24 Hours After Harvest

The Croatian fruits and vegetables are being sold through the FinotekaDostava.com website, in order to successfully cut out the middleman.

As Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of April, 2019, Croatian fruit and vegetable producers, as well the producers of other Croatian value-added products, have begun to use the benefits of the common EU (single) market and the ability to place and sell products in Austria and Slovenia, for now. On the FinotekaDostava.com website, customers from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria are able to order products from Croatian OPGs from the comfort of their own homes. Once ordered, the produce is freshly and carefully packed and delivered to their addresses directly from Croatia.

"Finoteka's specificity is that we don't store our fruit and vegetables, but we function with the ''from the field to the table within 24 hours'' principle. This literally means that some fruit or vegetables that are growing right now in a garden in Croatia are going to be sent out in package delivered to someone's doorstep in Vienna, Ljubljana or Zagreb the next day,'' said Hrvoje Kolman, the owner of Finoteka Dostava.

Kolman has been placing and selling products from Croatian OPGs since back in 2008 in this manner. However, his website first became the most well known a few years ago when, through his search engine, a huge amount of fruit from the Neretva Valley ended up being sold and sent throughout Croatia when a ban on exports of agricultural products to Russia from the EU was first introduced.

"Our delivery is as good on the islands as it is on the mainland. The quality of the service and the delivery speed is the same regardless of whether you live in the city or in the most remote place. All our fruit and vegetable packages arrive within 24 hours of harvest, whether you're in Croatia, Slovenia, or anywhere in Austria,'' says Kolman. He explained that the Austrian market has been being tested over recent months, while they have been present on the Slovenian market for more than a year now.

"We deliver about 100 packages per month to Slovenia. Asparagus have been doing well these days, and strawberries, cherries and other fruits and vegetables will begin soon,'' says Kolman.

The prices of Croatian quality products are, however, slightly lower than those on sale in Slovenia and Austria, which is why it is expected that such sales from Croatia could become very attractive indeed. Croatian farmers deliver their products to Finoteka, the products are carefully reviewed, and depending on the order, they're packed on that same day and then sent out. Croatian farmers get to cut out the middleman, and consumers don't have the worry of eating food which is of unknown origin, it's also GMO free, it hasn't been stored, and it hasn't been sprayed.

"It's very important for us to know who we're cooperating with. We choose good producers above all, those to whom agriculture isn't just a business but also a pleasure. We choose those whose eyes shine when they talk about their products. Finding and selecting such people is are biggest challenge," says Kolman.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more information on Croatian products, Croatian companies and OPGs, Croatian services and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz on Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 12 April 2019

Pag Salt Gains EU Protection - Croatia Now Has 22 Protected Products

As Morski writes on the 11th of April, 2019, Pag salt (Paška sol) has received protection at the EU level. This information has now been published officially and Pag salt has been entered into the register of Protected Geographical Indications (EU PGI), and Pag salt has earned its sought-after protection status throughout the European Union.

"Pag salt'' is sea salt obtained directly from the seawater of Pag bay, its shape that of small cubic crystal structures that are white in colour and contain minerals and trace elements. Most of the crystals are up to 1 mm in size, so 98 percent of all of the salt crystals manage to pass through a sieve with a mesh size of 1.3 mm. It has a concentrated salty taste without any bitterness.

The seawater from the bay of Pag is extremely clean and well-filtered because the bottom of Pag bay, from which it is obtained, is highly rich in shells which act as natural purifiers of the sea, meaning the seawater in that area has very low values ​​of heavy metals, which are at considerably lower levels than the average value of rest of the Mediterranean sea. In addition to that, Pag bay is located far from any areas in which industrial works are carried out, meaning that the sea is even more pure.

Croatia boasts a long and very rich tradition of production and preparation of various agricultural and food products that are characterised by certain special, unique qualities and traditional production methods, and now finally Pag's much loved salt has earned its protection at the highest level.

Although the Republic of Croatia is still the youngest member state of the European Union, it can be extremely proud of itself as it now has 22 different agricultural and food products with names that are now protected at the European Union level, either in the sense of having a protected destination of origin, or having a protected geographical indication. The EU currently has three such schemes which work to protect the names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Friday, 5 April 2019

First Croatian Olive Oil for Children - Brachia Kids

There's no denying that Croatian olive oil is second to none, and we're not the only ones who think it. Croatian produce has won award after award and the long coastal traditions of olive growing, picking and harvesting in Croatia are worthy of just as much praise as the final results of that hard work are.

As Morski writes on thr 4th of April, 2019, the respected Brač brand of olive oil, Brachia, has launched Brachia Kids, the first Croatian olive oil made just for children of kindergarten and elementary school age, reports Journal.hr.

''Brachia Kids brings the fresh and intriguing taste of organic olive cultivation from ecological [olive] growing from the island of Brač. These flavours are ideal for children when it comes to falling in love with the taste of olive oil. This new product is intended for parents who understand the healing properties and the great nutritional value(s) of olive oil, and who want to introduce it to their children's diet,'' said Leopold Botteri, the co-manager of the Brachia cooperative.

Part of the main role in popularising the consumption of olive oil for children will also be played by its attractive packaging, which has been made by Izvorka Jurić and Jurica Kos.

''We've designed the packaging so that the product is attractive to children, fun to use, and also educational, in order to develop their awareness of the importance of the regular use of olive oil. The body of a glass vial (0.25 dcl) has been partially placed in a box that, together with the black tip of the bottle, forms a crayon, and within which six crayons are actually housed. Following the dissolution of the box, there is a fun colouring book with illustrations of olive trees and leaves and various tasks for children to complete. Olive oil nourishes the body, and the puzzle and colouring on the packaging, acts as food for the brain. Together, they make a complete product for the healthy development of children,'' explained packaging designer Izvorka Jurić.

In addition to the premium olive oil of Brachia Maslina and the latest Brachia Kids product - Izvorka Jurić has designed products for the lines of Brachia sort oils, ecoBrachia and Brachia & Friends. All of these products, including Brachia Kids' olive oil for children, are now available for purchase in UJE stores across the Republic of Croatia.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Journal

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Potential for Croatian Producers as Prosciutto Exports Continue to Grow

As Morski writes on the 3rd of April, 2019, what has been happening with prosciutto for the past three to four years is truly spectacular. Due to its superior properties and specific traditional production technology, Croatian prosciutto producers have stumbled upon some great export potential and even more potential for the product's better placement in Croatian tourism through the country's already rich gastronomic offer.

When compared to five years ago in 2014, exports have increased in quantity by fourteen times, and perhaps most importantly, in value eleven times. Approximately 88 percent of total exports go to the EU market, and just over eleven percent go to CEFTA countries.

''The latest 2018 statistics show an increase in exports of shank and aitchbone products by nearly sixty percent, but unfortunately, we still don't even cover a third of imports. We need new investments and we need to invest in new prosciutto production capacities to double our production, and 700,000 pieces annually to at least meet the needs of the domestic market,'' said Dragan Kovačević, vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy for Agriculture and Tourism, at a press conference announcing the event Days of Croatian Prosciutto.

Ante Madir, Executive Director of the "Hrvatsko pršuta" (Croatian prosciutto) cluster, which brings together producers responsible for 95 percent of the total prosciutto production in the Republic of Croatia, explained more precisely what awaits Croatia on the fifth Days of Croatian prosciutto, which is being held from the 26th to the 27th of April at the Zagreb International Hotel this year.

''On the first day, we'll have a manifestation with round tables and workshops, the expert part of the gathering, and the second day at Ban Jelačić Square, there'll be a show-selling part where people can taste our prosciutto,'' Madir said, adding that they decided on Zagreb because quite a large market and a high demand for the product can be found in the Croatian capital.

"What's been happening with prosciutto over the past three to four years is truly spectacular. The signs of protection (special labels) are our tickets to the wider European Union market, that's very important for being able to [have our products] arrive to shop shelves. In Croatia, we still need to work on presenting [our products] to consumers to have them pay more money for something which is domestic and specific,'' said Igor Miljak, chairman of the PPK Karlovac meat industry, stressing that Croatia still doesn't have key gastro brands that are recognised on the European or global market, but it definitely does have the quality to be able to cope well with the competition.

Ana Babić from Voštane pršut, a representative of the Association of Dalmatian Prosciutto, explained the difference between Dalmatian and Istrian, or more specifically Krk prosciutto.

''Dalmatian prosciutto is smoked, while Istrian and Krk prosciutto isn't. There are no additives or preservatives in its production, and the process itself lasts for at least a year,'' Babić explained, adding that the tradition of Dalmatian prosciutto production draws its roots from as far back as ancient Roman times.

Drago Pletikosa of Belcrotrade and the president of the Association of Drniš pršut stressed that Drniš prosciutto is a little and is therefore certified, although there is no difference between Drniš and Dalmatian prosciutto when it comes to the production process itself.

''Last year, we imported 3,848 tons of products worth more than 21.5 million euros and exported 1.113 tons (6.5 million euros). Compared to 2014, exports have increased in quantity fourteen times, and by value eleven times. Approximately 88 percent of our total exports go to the EU market, and just over eleven percent go to CEFTA countries. We export the most to Slovenia (35.5 percent of total exports) and to Italy (28.1 percent),'' stated Pletikosa.

''This event brings together and promotes prosciutto producers from all over the country, whose products are protected by a stamp of designation of origin, and labels of geographical origin (Krk, Dalmatian and Drniš prosciutto) at the EU level,'' stated the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Quality labels for consumers guarantee the purchase of authentic and properly controlled products, with recognised quality and a local origin. Protecting products without educating consumers and business partners about its proper valuation has no great benefit. Therefore, this event contributes to the strengthening of the recognisability of these Croatian meat products with higher added value and a better market positioning, all with the aim of developing the wider Croatian economy.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Croatia's Mlinar Opens First Bakery in Scandinavia!

Whether it's a cheese burek and yogurt or kifle and a hot coffee to get you going in the morning, or a slice of pizza and an ice tea in the evening, Mlinar has been serving the needs of the general public in Croatia for many years. From freshly baked bread to various donuts, strudels and sandwiches, this bakery has it covered. 

Mlinar has been spreading its wings over the last couple of years, with its business stretching over to as far as Australia, and it seems that trend isn't about to stop yet, even if it's much closer to home here in Europe. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of March, 2019, over the last few years, the company has been intensively developing its export placement and expanding its franchise business all over the world, taking to multiple countries and indeed to multiple continents.

The very first Mlinar bakery in the Scandinavian country of Finland opened its doors to the Finnish public on March the 16th, 2019, in the city of Lahti, at Vapaudenkatu 13. Just one day earlier, Mlinar's sixth store in Sarajevo, in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina was opened at Koševo 21 (otherwise, as far as the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina is concerned, this is the ninth Mlinar bakery to open in the country).

As Mlinar continues its mission of ''taking over the world'' with its popular baked goods, Mlinar's wise business move in opening a bakery over in Finland has occurred after doing the same in neighbouring Hungary and Slovenia, as well as in Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Slovakia, and Malta.

From our continent of Europe to as far as New South Wales on the other side of the world in Australia, Mlinar's easily recognisable blue sign can be found thanks to a set of clever business moves and the intensive development of its export placement.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business page for much, much more.

 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Has Croatia Ruined its Oysters? According to an Expert, Apparently...

Have Croats managed to destroy their beloved Ston oysters with feces? Maybe. It sounds like another negative and inflammatory headline about how nobody can do anything right, but according to one respected expert, this might really be the case.

Norovirus is a potentially dangerous virus of the Caliciviridae family which causes 19 to 21 million illnesses, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalisations and as many as 570 to 800 deaths per year according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Often called stomach flu, Norovirus is highly contagious, and is known to mercilessly tear through populations of people in concentrated areas, cruise ships are a particular favourite playground for the virus.

Symptoms, which include chronic vomiting and diarrhoea can become very severe very quickly, rendering a person unable to hold anything down, eventually leading to extreme weakness, sudden weight loss, dehydration, and the need for emergency treatment. Now we've covered the basics of this microscopic devil, how has the presence of Norovirus managed to infiltrate Ston's long oyster-based traditions? Perhaps more importantly, just how have the Croats succeeded in allowing such danger to seriously threaten Ston's most prized gastronomic offer?

As Index writes on the 5th of March, 2019, Vlado Onofri, a scientific advisor at the University of Dubrovnik spoke to Libero portal and explained that the Croats have indeed managed to destroy southern Dalmatia's internationally adored gourmet delicacy. He said that the cause was the unsolved issue of the area's sewage network, more specifically septic tanks that are full, and not being emptied. Such conditions lead to the presence of potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria, including the potentially fatal Norovirus.

Because of the presence of Norovirus on three of the five control points on which Ston's beloved oysters are grown, the Day of Mali Ston Oysters, which was supposed to take place on March the 16th, has now been cancelled for health and safety reasons.

"I'm sorry for the hospitality and catering facilities and for oyster lovers, I know they'll lose out on a lot because of this, but some things need to be said in order to start sorting things out," said Vlado Onofri rather bluntly, who claims that when it comes to Croatia's very unfortunate oyster situation, there's nobody to blame but the Croats themselves.

"There will certainly be a reaction after all of this, but come on, have someone show me that they've paid for the emptying of the septic tanks! Nobody will show you that! Except the Koruna restaurant, which I know keep their oysters in pools and they're absolutely fine for consumption. That's the only example [of that] in Ston.

The entire area hasn't had its sewage situation solved adequately, and it was the obligation of the state to resolve it at the beginning of the eighties when the sewage [system] was being done. Mali Ston and Veliki Ston were meant to be connected to the entire sewage system, this wasn't done and now after so many years, it's time to pay! You know how it goes with septic tanks, when there were small households, there were small quantities, but now there's a lot more, it's all too full up, and nobody is emptying them!" Onofri said.

This isn't the first time a virus has appeared in these oysters.

"Three years ago, there was a problem. People got food poisoning, started having diarrhoea, vomiting... that's Norovirus, viruses aren't harmless things, that virus can live for hundreds of years in sludge, when it comes across live tissue, it becomes virulent again (a pathogen's ability to infect its live host) because it crystallises its capsomer (a covering of protein that protects the genetic material of a virus). I'm good with virology and I know what I'm talking about because I did a Master of Science in the 1980s, and later a doctorate in Ston,'' Onofri explained, backing up his claims.

"We're dependant on the whims of humans and nature"

He also provided a response to the question of how long this dire situation might last:

"The oysters can quickly get rid of the virus if they're in clean water, meaning that we need purification pools that we don't have. There was an idea to make them in Bistrina, and I personally brought plans from France to show what this should look like. There were ideas thrown around about doing that, but it hasn't been done. This is an absolute necessity, for when such things do happen, to end up with a sanitised and proper product. Now we're depending on the whims of humans and nature when it comes to how our products end up! The pools weren't made because of a protected reserve where nothing at all can be constructed,'' stated Onofri.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Croatian Cuisine: Your Guide to Sausages and Salamis

If anything, Croats are big fans of cured meats and love to share spreads of good cured meat called platas with friends and family. At any type of celebration that gathers more than four people I guarantee you'll find a wooden flat board with a whole range of salamis, sausages, prosciutto, ham etc.

These products are most often made from pork or a pork-beef combination, but pork usually prevails. Actually, six of them have received EU protection in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications. We consume them in large quantities and are very proud of our tradition.

Home alone and lazy? A couple of hard boiled eggs and a pair of sausages are on the menu.

Don't know what to eat for lunch at work? Bread with some kind of salami with cheese spread or butter.

Most popular types of sausages:

Kranjska: 75-80 percent pork and no more than 20 percent fat, best served fried

Debrecinka: A mixture of pork and beef, slightly smoked, best when cooked

Češnjovka: Made from pork and spices with a strong hint of garlic, best when fried

Pečenice: Made from pork in a very thin sausage casing, slightly smoked, best when grilled

Most popular types of salamis:

Zimska: The most popular salami made form pork, in a casing covered with white mold which gives it its characteristic flavour

Čajna: Made form pork, traditionally smoked on beech tree, lighter taste but similar to Zimska

Milanska: Made from best cuts of pork inspired by Italian techniques which means it isn't as finely ground and has a softer bite to it

Srijemska: Made from pork, carries a bit more taste due to red a paprika spice which gives it the deep red colour

Kulen: Made from pork, this pearl of Slavonia is one of the best things you can taste in Croatia, slightly spicy due to hot red paprika

Although you can buy all these kinds in a local shop the best ones are the homemade ones. This January, after a two year break, my family finally decided to make a new batch of homemade sausages and salamis. Winter is the best time of year since it's cold so the meat won't go bad while drying.

Now, I'm in no position to discover the real recipe my father has kept hidden for years (this year he did hint at the used ratios) but I'll give you some useful tips on how to make delicious sausages and salamis. The must haves are a couple of volunteers and two days, it's best to do it over the weekend.

When making salamis, the ratio of pork to beef is around 80:20.

The meat and fat ratio is 80:20. We add salt and pepper and then some garlic water.

When making sausages, the pork-beef ratio is the same but the meat-fat ratio is 85:15. The spices are the same.

The meat needs to be minced and the fat needs to be cut into tiny little cubes because the worst thing is when you bite into a sausage and get a chunk of fat in your mouth. You mix it all well, the meat, the fat, the spices and leave it to sit, it's best to do that over night.

The next day, you fill the sausage casings by using a sausage maker machine. You have to have a light yet firm touch, be careful casings as they can tear apart easily. After that, you hang them and dry them in a fumatory for couple of weeks to a couple of months.

And there you have it, the method of making sausages and salamis in couple of simplified steps. As long as you drink a gemišt every thirty minutes or so, then you're good to go.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Pag Cheese Finally Gets Protected Designation of Origin Label

The good news has arrived early this year and this season's production of the famed and award winning Pag cheese will finally come with a protected designation of origin label which gives special importance to controlling the very production of the internationally appreciated Pag cheese.

As Morski writes on the 8th of January, 2019, the protected designation of origin label clearly defines the raw material, the description of the finished product, the geographical area of its ​​production, the proof of the origin of the Pag cheese, the process of the production correlation with the aforementioned geographical production area, and the details and the link between the geographical area of production and the quality and characteristics of the final product. Šime Gligora, director of Sirana Gligora, has welcomed this protection, according to a report from eZadar.

''From our very beginnings, our cheese factory has been producing exclusively from the milk of Pag sheep from the island of Pag, while the production of our other cheeses, cows, goats, sheep and mixed cheeses are made exclusively with milk from Croatia, largely from the area of ​​Northern Dalmatia,'' stated a satisfied Gligora.

Pag cheese is exclusively a sheep's milk product originating from island of Pag, its limited production is defined entirely by the number of sheep, their milk, and the production period for the end product.

The next level of protection is at the European Union level which, in addition to offering a huge level of protection, will greatly contribute to the establishment, recognition and the subsequent sale of Pag cheese in Europe and across the whole world.

Aside from that, it will certainly contribute to additional financial support and encourage the breeding of sheep for husbandry in the area of ​​the island of Pag, which hopefully ultimately means in the retaining of the domestic workforce, as well as influencing number of inhabitants on the island, cattle-breeding and agriculture, and the overall development of the dairy and cheese industries.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for information on Pag cheese and much, much more.

 

Click here for the original article by eZadar

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Sandra Perković Becomes Ambassador for Vegeta Natur

Sandra Perković meets Podravka. Linking Croatian companies and Croatian athletes is important for the overall strengthening of the image of Croatian products across the world.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of October, 2018, one of the best Croatian athlete of all time, Sandra Perković, and the president of Podravka's board, Marin Pucar, signed an agreement on cooperation by which Sandra Perkovic becomes the ambassador of Podravka's products under the brand Vegeta Natur. The agreement was signed on Thursday, October the 25th, during Croatian Tourism Days (Dani Hrvatskog Turizma) held on the island of Hvar, under the organisation of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

"We're proud that our most successful athlete of all time, Sandra Perković, has joined the Podravka family. It's a great pleasure to bind ourselves to the best ones [athletes] who share in Podravka's important values such as valuable work, setting high goals, and the pursuit of excellence. These are the foundations of Sandra's best achievements, but also of Podravka's successful business,'' Podravka's Marin Pucar said during the signing of the Contract on cooperation, adding his desire for Sandra to take the title of the best athlete of the world this year, as she so deserves.

''I've grown up with Podravka's products and I'm glad I'm able to pass on the message about the quality and the value of these products to others through my work and my sporting activities. Connecting Croatian companies and Croatian athletes helps to promote Croatia's top-quality products across the world,'' stated Sandra Perković.

With its numerous brands and products, Podravka is present on more than sixty international markets.

Vegeta, as the original Croatian product, has become somewhat of a culinary phenomenon. In its almost six decades of existence, Vegeta has entered into the kitchens of consumers all over the world. In line with the trends on the culinary market, Vegeta has been being continuously upgraded throughout the years, and now we have Vegeta Natur.

Vegeta Natur products are enhanced with new recipes, which include a combination of carefully selected vegetables and spices with the message which bear the message ''by Mother Nature's recipe''.

During the Days of Croatian Tourism event was a panel called "Croatia - small country, big brand", in which Davor Bruketa, Jadranka Primorac, Aleksandar Dojčinović, Kristijan Staničić, and Božo Skoko participated along with Marina Pucar and Sandra Perković. Marin Pucar pointed out that Croatia's popularity in terms of tourism and sport should also be transferred into other spheres of the country's wider offer, particularly in terms of strengthening the image of Croatia's many top quality food products across the world.

For the latest news about Olympian champion Sandra, follow the TCN page here.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Another Good Year for Pag Cheese!

Excellent news for Pag as its American distributor sings its praises.

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