Saturday, 24 September 2022

Croatian Mandarin Harvest Begins - Yield Low, Producers Unhappy

September the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian mandarin harvest finally began this past week, with many people's favourite fruit now being distributed for sale. Owing to poor and unusually harsh conditions this year, the yield isn't as good as it has been in the past, and producers aren't too satisfied.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian mandarin harvest finally began this week and the fruit that has been picked is currently being distributed to the market, ready to be purchased by people who wait all year for this. Producers are primarily giving their fruit to purchasing centres, but many are also still selling them at traditional stands. The drought this year has affected just about everything, from olives to grapes, and mandarins are no exception. Producers cite price increases as the biggest thorn in their side, as reported by HRT.

"I have stands which are located far away, I'm talking 500-600 kilometres away, imagine the the cost of all that! That's ultimately going to see me have to raise the prices," said Ante Dugandzic from Komin.

The purchase price is currently 4.20 kuna, and the producers agree that this is now too little for a first-class product. "We were expecting around 5 kuna, but now everything depends on whether that price will last, so if it lasts for about fifteen days, then it won't be bad," said Niko Kapovic from Opuzen.

A general sense of dissatisfaction isn't only being found in regard to pricing, but also because of this year's smaller Croatian mandarin harvest. "There is twenty percent less this year than we had last year. My expectation is somewhere around 30,000 tonnes,'' said Neven Mataga, also from Opuzen.

This year's mandarins are of very high quality, which is ultimately what interests customers the most. Pickers mostly come from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they're picking for about eight hours a day.

"We harvest somewhere around 30 tonnes a day. At this rate, it should take about fifty days if the weather is good, and if it isn't, we will have to wait until Christmas to harvest the rest of the mandarins, as we did last year," explained Ivan Bjelis of Agro Neretva.

Up to 20,000 tonnes of that amount should be placed and sold here on the domestic market, and the rest will be exported elsewhere.

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

Monday, 13 December 2021

Banned Pesticide Traces Found in Croatian Fruit, Producers Shocked

December the 13th, 2021 - Croatian fruit has been found to contain traces of a banned pesticide which has come as a shock to domestic growers and distributors.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, ,andarin plantations are no longer as busy as they have been in the past three months, with only a few pickers still picking the last Croatian fruit of this year.

Antonio Albanezi from Ploce in the Neretva valley is finally finishing the harvest, he is satisfied, he says - with both the harvest and the price he got for his produce.

''It goes to the market for three kuna without any problems, and the purchases are a bit more rigorous and people are taking only the first class fruit,'' says Dubravko Srsen from Trn. A few days ago, however, traces of an illicit pesticide were found in a small consignment of Croatian fruit which had made its way to neighbouring Slovenia. Agronomist Robert Doko commented on the situation:

''What I heard is that it is the active substance chlorpyrifos which was found in the Croatian fruit, which went out of use a year and a half ago,'' said Doko.

''We can talk about traces of pesticides in production, it isn't so dangerous for consumers either, but in any case we should pay attention to make sure things like that don't happen,'' added Niko Kapovic, an agricultural and economic analyst for HRT.

Neretva mandarins are almost an ecological product because the biggest pest for producers, the Mediterranean fruit fly, has been controlled in a completely ecological way for ten years now. This makes the discovery of a banned substance on Croatian fruit all the more concerning and indeed confusing as it would be in absolutely nobody's interest to be caught using it.

All Croatian manufacturers and purchasers agree that such incidents should be completely eliminated, mostly because the famous and much loved Neretva mandarin is mostly sold outside of the borders of the Republic of Croatia.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Fruit Growers Fear Huge Damage After Morning Frosts

ZAGREB, 15 April, 2021 - The real extent of damage to orchards due to the unusually cold weather in April with snow and early morning frosts, will only be known in the next few weeks, Croatian Fruit Growers' Association president Branimir Markota told Hina on Thursday.

"We have been in contract with the agriculture ministry during the entire time of low temperatures last week and again last night, and have discussed the possible consequences these unfavourable conditions will have for fruit growers. The real extent of the damage will only be visible in a few weeks and once we know it and depending on the possibilities, we will certainly seek assistance," Markota told Hina.

A huge problem exists because insurance policies do no cover damage caused by frost that occurred prior to 10 April, he said. 

That's something that will be discussed with insurance companies and the ministry which covers 70% of the cost of insurance premiums from Measure 17 of the Rural Development Programme, Markota explained.

Fruit growers usually insure their crops via Measure 17 - Risk management and Sub-measure 17.1 - Insurance of crops, animals and plants.

For more about agriculture in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Saturday, 3 April 2021

Proven Croatian Quality Label for Fruit Sector Recognised!

April the 3rd, 2021 - The proven Croatian quality label for the domestic fruit sector has now been recognised, marking another step forward in the proper recognition of local products.

As Morski writes, the very first sector to recognise the advantage of the Croatian quality system for agricultural and food products - "Proven Quality (Dokazana kvaliteta)" is the fruit production sector. Back on October the 2nd, 2020 the Ministry of Agriculture received the first application for recognition of the Croatian quality label Proven Quality - Fruit submitted by the Association of Croatian Fruit Growers.

Following the successful implementation of the legally prescribed procedure, which includes the expert examination of the Product Specification, the national complaint procedure and the notification procedure at the EU level, the Ministry of Agriculture issued a Decision recognising the "Proven Croatian Quality" label for homegrown fruit.

The specification includes the following fruit species: apples, pears, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, figs, apricots, strawberries, American blueberries, raspberries, grapes, mandarines, chokeberries (aronia), and certain nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds).

Through a unique Croatian quality label on the fruit that will bear the sign "Proven Quality - Croatia", the consumer will be informed that they're purchasing fruit of domestic origin and a higher quality in regard to controlled production.

The Ministry of Agriculture is establishing a Croatian quality label system for agricultural and food products under the same name in order to achieve greater recognition and promotion of domestic agricultural and food products.

The national quality system is designed to further label higher quality agricultural and food products, ie products with special characteristics within certain sectors, including milk, meat, fruit and their products, with emphasis placed on the added quality of products resulting from various factors, such as the method of production, the quality of the raw material or the final product, and basing it all on objective and measurable criteria.

In addition to informing consumers about the added value of these labelled products, this system also protects producers from unfair practices.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

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 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 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