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, 29 August 2022

Baranja Paprika Harvest Begins, Customers Must Expect Higher Prices

August the 29th, 2022 - The Baranja paprika harvest has begun! For many, this is an absolute favourite and a ''must buy'' Croatian product, but buyers must expect higher prices.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Baranja paprika harvest has started somewhat earlier than usual, and due to the bad weather conditions that accompanied its cultivation, there will be less of it, but fortunately, what has managed to grow is of very good quality.

Due to the increase in production costs, the price of Baranja paprikas will rise significantly, with the price per kilogram now expected to reach up to 180 kuna. A small village which deals with the production of paprika, Lug, has seen many of its residents live on the Baranja paprika harvest for centuries now, according to a report from HRT.

"It's very difficult to find good paprika, you need to put in lot of effort and you do almost everything by hand," said Zuzana Jozef, a local resident who has been dealing with this for many years.

''The drought reduced the amount of crops we got, but thankfully we still do have crops. It won't be anywhere near the amount we managed to get year, but the quality is still very good. Baranja paprikas this year are of very good quality, they're fleshy and they're full of seeds, so I hope our customers will be satisfied anyway,'' said Borivoje Stojanovic.

The only thing is that its price will have to increase, but true fans of Baranja paprikas will certainly continue to buy it regardless.

"Everything went wrong, including with the raw materials, and we probably irrigated it twice as much as usual for it to succeed," added Jozef.

Those who love and use Baranja paprikas for various reasons in their food know just how important watering is for these crops, and the fact that there has been a drought could have spelled disaster very easily. Regardless of whether it is sweet or hot pepper that customerd want, there can be no top specialties, especially at this time of the year, without them.

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

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Could Drought Throw Spanner in Works for Croatian Strawberries?

March the 26th, 2022 - Could Croatian strawberries from the fertile and ever-rich Neretva Valley in southern Dalmatia be under threat following an unusually long dry season?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to an abnormally long dry period, Croatian strawberries from plantations down in the Neretva Valley have been placed in danger, as reported by the Maslina portal.

Although it is now climatologically spring, meaning that the general level of precipitation should technically be enough at this moment in time, the situation is completely different and unusual for this time of year. Only 20 millimetres of rain has fallen so far, while for comparison, about 800 mm fell in the period from October to December.

According to agro-estimates, about two million strawberry seedlings have been planted down in the Neretva Valley, which should be harvested during April, but in order for the these much loved 100% Croatian strawberries to properly ripen, they need regular watering with high quality water, which is not available in the Neretva Valley.

Namely, the water is salty owing to the location, which was repeatedly warned about by the association of fruit and vegetable producers (Neretva Youth/Neretvanska Mladez), which addressed the situation in an open letter to the competent Minister, Marija Vuckovic, warning her of the problem of irrigation.

The association warned that Croatian strawberries are an agricultural crop that is extremely sensitive to increased salt concentrations, especially sodium chloride, but the water in the canals from which local farmers take what they need is currently of extremely poor quality, which is naturally placing Croatian strawberries and indeed other locally grown produce in an unfavourable position.

They also pointed out that extreme climate changes haven't bypassed the Neretva Valley either, because there has been and continues to be almost no rain.

"For two months now, we've been experiencing an extremely dry period with a dry wind - bura", the Neretva Youth Association explained for the Maslina portal.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Protected Croatian Products Safe from Grey Economy with Higher Prices

March the 4th, 2021 - Protected Croatian products are worth paying that bit more for, and the public are growing more and more aware of the need to fork out a few kuna more in order to keep such products protected from the clutches of the grey economy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, this year, more precisely until the end of February, three new names of protected Croatian products were registered at the level of the European Union - Rudarska greblica, Dalmatinska pecenica and Dalmatinska panceta.

Thus, Croatia, as the youngest member state of the EU, is in ninth place in terms of the number of registered names of domestic agricultural and food products, and the first on the list of protected Croatian products to receive the label was Krk´s much loved prosciutto. How much this label helps when it comes to actual product placement and the penetration of foreign markets was discovered by the manufacturers themselves.

"We also have an additional fifteen products that we´ve protected at the national level and are in preparation for the procedure or are already in the process of registration at the EU level, and six more products for which the national protection procedure is underway.

By protecting the name, manufacturers protect the reputation of their product from misuse and damage, and it is this sign that guarantees the consumer the purchase of an authentic and controlled product which boasts proper recognised quality and is of local origin. The recognisability of a product is connected with the recognisability of the area where it is produced, which contributes to the strengthening of the tourist offer, but also to the sustainable development of rural areas.

The importance of registration and protection also lies in the fact that it ensures classification into a higher price category, which for the manufacturer means better market positioning and of course - higher income.

According to the European Commission (EC), these products fetch an average of 2.3 times more in terms of price than a similar unlabelled product, and according to a survey conducted by the ministry on more than fifty certified manufacturers, as many as 68 percent of manufacturers have noticed an increase in demand for their product since they have become proud bearers of such a label,¨ they point out from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Ante Madir, executive director of the Croatian Prosciutto Cluster, explained that precisely because of the sensory properties and specific traditional production technology, Croatian prosciutto has a great export potential and potential for placement via tourism through the country´s already very rich gastronomic offer.

As he says, through the Croatian Prosciutto Cluster and various prosciutto associations, they promote these protected Croatian products, every year in another city they organise Croatian Prosciutto Days focused exclusively on protected prosciutto, and representatives of the Cluster participate in all specialised fairs across the country and abroad.

"EU labels of protected geographical origin, which are carried by Krk, Drnis and Dalmatian prosciutto, and the label of originality boasted by Istrian prosciutto, are a guarantee of quality and are increasingly recognised by local customers. Foreign tourists have long been aware of what is involved when it comes to such labels, they know the difference and always put quality before price.

Designations of protected geographical origin and originality are important not only for their recognisability, but they also have the function of protection against the clutches of the grey market. Here in Croatia, the production of prosciutto is growing from year to year, but this is not enough to cover its consumption.

Specifically, we eat about a million pieces of prosciutto a year, and we produce about 450,000 pieces of it. The growth of production was not stopped by the coronavirus pandemic, but, unfortunately, it slowed things down in terms of placement. Tourism suffered because of the pandemic, and tourism is otherwise the best opportunity for the placement of Croatian prosciutto caused a decline in sales.

When it comes to exports, we have a trend of increasing sales of our prosciutto in the EU. Some prosciutto companies in foreign markets had an increase in sales in 2020, regardless of the pandemic, up to even 30 percent more when compared to 2019," said Madir.

¨Croatia exports its prosciutto to all countries in the immediate region, but also to those countries where the Croatian diaspora live, such as Austria and Germany. At the end of last year, one Croatian prosciutto company exported the first quantities of prosciutto to Ukraine. We also had exports to New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Croatian prosciutto is sold in Serbia, Northern Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Association of Dalmatian Prosciutto Producers prepared the documentation and applied for the tender M3.2.1-2, for support for information and promotion activities. If the funds are obtained through a tender, then we will use them for the promotion and recognition of prosciutto as a protected EU product,¨ added Madir.

One of the producers of protected Croatian prosciutto, more precisely the Dalmatian type, is Vlade Prancic, and his facility annually produces about a hundred tonnes of prosciutto. As he says, in this ongoing pandemic crisis, sales have dropped by twenty percent, but he believes that quality products always find their way to the customer, so he remains optimistic about the future.

"When it comes to protected Croatian products, local customers are increasingly aware and it is not a problem for them to spend a little more money on such products. On the other hand, buyers in foreign markets such as Germany or Austria, have long recognised the quality of protected products and this is our only chance given that the quantity Croatia has can quite simply not compete with Spanish and Italian manufacturers.

We sell our prosciutto almost 75 percent of our production through the HoReCa sector throughout Croatia, and our exports grow from year to year, so 25 percent of our total production goes off to Germany, Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Events, such as Croatian Prosciutto Day, contribute to the branding of protected Croatian products, but that is not enough.

Most producers are small family prosciutto manufacturers, they are masters of prosciutto, but not for marketing and branding, so in the promotion of protected Croatian products, we really need the help of our state institutions and continuous campaigns that would educate customers and other producers,¨ said Prancic.

According to several published studies related to various European Union trademarks, consumers are more aware of trademarks from southern Europe, and the reason for this may lie in the fact that Italy, France and Spain have around 700 protected products to boast of. The experience we have from 2020 has shown us the importance of domestic production in all segments.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Varazdin Klipic is the 27th Croatian Produce Protected By EU

October 7, 2020 - Varazdin Klipic yesterday became the 27th item of Croatian produce protected by the EU. The bread roll is designated a unique standing and protected name because of its distinct place of origin

Terrific news from the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture! As of Tuesday 6 October 2020, Varazdin Klipic became the 27th item of Croatian produce protected by the EU.

The process of protection of the bread snack's name began in February 2017, when the Chefs Association of Varaždin County submitted a request to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Varazdin Klipic is made according to a specific recipe - its thin dough is stretched, cut into strips and then rolled into 25 cm long sticks. A time-honoured tradition of Varazdin County, the breadsticks must have four folds on each side.

Varazdin Klipic, collected in a basket and pictured in front of the famous Old City of Varazdin © Croatian Ministry of Agriculture

The surface of the Varazdin Klipic is subsequently coated with egg and sprinkled with cumin seeds, which give them a distinct flavour. After baking, their outside is gold in colour with a smooth and firm consistency. Their insides are white, soft and fluffy. Varazdin Klipic is always handmade and the ingredients of its dough are wheat flour, milk, sunflower (or vegetable) oil, yeast, sugar and salt.

Varazdin Klipic is not the only protected product from Varazdin County - Varaždin cabbage is already protected at an EU-level, as is Meso ‘z tiblice from Međimurje.

The other Croatia produce currently protected at an EU-level are Paški sir, Paška janjetina and Paška sol (Pag cheese, Pag lamb and Pag salt), Bjelovarski kvargl cheese, Neretva mandarins, four different and distinct pršut (prosciutto) - from Dalmatia, Drniš, Krk island and Istria, Lička janjetina and Lički krumpir (lamb and potatoes from Lika), olive oils from the islands of Cres, Krk, Solta and Korčula, Poljički soparnik, sour cabbage (sauerkraut) from Ogulin, Kulen from Baranja and Slavonia, Slavonia honey, Međimursko meso ‘z tiblice, Zagorski puran and Zagorski mlinci (turkey and mlinci from Zagorje) and Brački varenik, a spicing made from grape juice which also won its designation recently.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

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

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Slavonian Store Encourages Purchase of Local Produce and More

This Slavonian store is a unique selling point where the shelves feature a rich assortment of local produce from local Slavonian OPGs, handmade souvenirs, and traditional ethno clothing items.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of April, 2019, in the first year, sales surpassed expectations, and products from the new Slavonian store's shelves are finding their way around the world, from Uruguay all the way to Australia, Sanja Rapaić writes for Agroklub.

In Nova Gradiška, a town historically referred to as the youngest Croatian town, the totally unique ''Slavonian store'' was created last year. Located in a building with almost fairy-tale interiors dating from the 1920s, this small Slavonian shop boasts a varied and rich offer. The shop is unique, with a special atmosphere that combines the past and Slavonian traditions with contemporary methods of manufacturing for its numerous local producers.

Located close to the premises of the Tourist Board of the city in which it is situated, the Slavonian shop primarily attracts tourists, travellers and numerous Slavonians working abroad and who are coming on holiday to their native Slavonia. Thanks to them, products from local OPGs, cheeses, and cured meat products, as well as honey, fruit spreads and pastes, souvenirs, clothes and items decorated with ethno motifs and even expensive gold jewellery, have already travelled to almost all countries of the world, from Uruguay all the way to the other side of the world, to Australia.

"It all started two years ago, when the city of Nova Gradiška and six surrounding municipalities - Cernik, Rešetari, Staro Petrovo Selo, Nova Kapela, Davor and Okučani - founded the Nova Gradiška area community of producers. That was the basis of everything, with huge support from Nova Gradiška, in March of last year, we realised another idea of ​​a sales point through which all interested manufacturers could place their products.

As soon as we opened the Slavonian store, the shelves of which were immediately filled with products from all four Slavonian counties and from part of Sisak-Moslavina County. We started out with about twenty manufacturers and in just a year, their number doubled and today the Slavonian store has launched a range of products coming from as many as 55 subcontractors, of which about 30 percent are made up of OPGs, and the rest are from obrts (small companies) and from domestic labour,'' said Milan Rosić of the Slavonian store.

He pointed out that the opening of the Slavonian store has unexpectedly triggered another positive chain reaction. Namely, just so that they could put their products on store shelves, many Slavonian locals decided to open up their own OPGs.

"We're especially proud of the fact that many people who have good ideas and good products have been motivated to open OPGs, obrts or engage in home-based work, and make a serious effort towards doing this work. In the first year of operation, the Slavonian store was responsible for the opening of a dozen brand new OPGs, and partly because of this, our offer is richer and more luxurious every month. The sales are going more than well. Our customers are mainly foreign tourists, Brits, Italians, French and Japanese, of which there are, as much as it might seem unrealistic to some, more and more,'' he says.

While foreigners are mostly looking for souvenirs from this area, as well as traditional clothing, ethno-style jewellery creations, our people who work abroad and domestic tourists are primarily buying Slavonian delicacies - cured meats, various cheeses, alcoholic drinks, liqueurs, fruit juices, honey and honey products, and a variety of homemade pastes and homemade cakes which have been made according to old traditional recipes,'' says the shop manager, who is more than pleased with how the Slavonian store's sales are going.

The whole system works very easily, it's enough to contact the producer's community or come directly to the Slavonian store, where you can sign an agreement with the manager and arrange all details regarding the sale of your products.

"We're working on sales commissions, we negotiate quantities, we display products at our store, and at the end of each month we send a detailed sales data report to all of our producers, send them invoices and then make payments to their accounts for all the products we've sold here that month, so far, everything's been working flawlessly and everyone's satisfied, the manufacturers, the buyers, and us,'' stated Milan Rosić.

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

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Cres to Get Cheese Factory Worth More Than Five Million Kuna

The desire is to breathe some life into, and renew the old tradition of island sheep farming on the island of Cres in the Kvarner region through cooperation with local OPGs and cheese factories.

As Marta Duic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of April, 2019, in the village of Loznati on the beautiful island of Cres on Monday, construction began on the Loznati agricultural cooperative.

As the co-manager Bruno Žic explained, their goal is to restore old fame to island livestock breeding and continue to maintain the tradition of sheep farming that has been present on the island of Cres for a great many years.

"In the seventies during the last century, this place had a cheese factory and we decided to make our contribution to the preservation of that tradition. The Loznati agricultural cooperative is a small family cooperative, we have seven members and we're open to cooperate with small OPGs and cheese producers. Our desire is to bring as many people back to sheep farming as we can, we're very ambitious and we will try to restore the former numbers,'' stated Žic.

As he claims, the capacity is 500 litres of milk per shift, ie an impressive 1000 litres per day, and the value of the investment stands at 5.600.000 kuna.

"Of the total investment, two million kuna is non-refundable because we have secured it through EU funds, and the remainder is partly our money and partly from an HBOR loan," added Žic.

When construction works are completed, the Cres site will occupy a total area of ​​540 square metres.

Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić was present at the opening ceremony on Cres.

The Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb has dealt with the technology for us, and on that basis we started to realise the whole project and the [involved] works. The HACCP standards required in production will be implemented here with us, and the cheese factory itself will be a combination of modern and traditional. We tried not to ruin the looks of the village,'' concluded Žic.

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


Click here for the original article by Marta Duic for Poslovni Dnevnik