Friday, 16 April 2021

31 Croatian Products "Protected" Since 2015, 21 Still Await Desired Label

April the 16th, 2021 - There may well be numerous Croatian products now protected at the European Union level, but many are still sitting waiting on the list, hoping to get their hands on that much desired label.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, April the 14th, 2015, was the date on which Krk prosciutto became the very first Croatian food product registered in the European Union (EU), and the Croatian Parliament passed a decision marking that day as the Day of Protected Croatian Indigenous Products.

To this day, the Republic of Croatia has 31 agricultural and food products whose names are registered with a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication label, ranking Croatia ninth in the entire bloc when it comes to protected local products.

In addition, 21 other procedures for the protection of the names of various Croatian products are currently in progress. This refers more precisely to the registration of the names of edible Croatian products, and the last ones to have been registered are Dalmatian pancetta and pečenica.

According to the relevant ministry, the ultimate goal of manufacturers is not to protect their names and the registration of the label, but the added value of the products they use in marketing and achieving better sales prices for protected Croatian products, as well as the raising of competitiveness here on the local market and further afield on the highly demanding European Union market.

“The Republic of Croatia has a rich tradition of the production and preparation of various agricultural and food products that are characterised by a special quality and a traditional way of production.

The recognisability of the products is also connected with the recognisability of the area in which they're produced, which contributes to the strengthening of tourism, but also to the sustainable development of more rural areas of the country,'' pointed out Marija Vuckovic, Minister of Agriculture.

For more on Croatian products, including edible ones, as well as restaurants and recipes, check out our dedicated section.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Crotaste: New Croatian Food Store Opens in Heart of Zagreb

December the 19th, 2020 - The pandemic has showcased just how heavily we need to turn towards homegrown produce, and one brand new Croatian food store, Crotaste, opened its doors in the very heart of Zagreb to promote domestic products and local OPGs.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Crotaste Croatian Food House was opened in the centre of Zagreb in Cesarceva street on Friday. It is a promotional and sales centre whose goal is to provide small and medium-sized Croatian producers from all over the country a place to promote and sell their local products.

Crotaste will boast a very wide range of domestic products, and products with European quality labels have an advantage when it comes to marketing. As Krunoslav Dugalic, the director of the Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food (HAPIH) explained, with this move, they enabled everyone who has outgrown doorstep sales far easier placement, and products will rotate, there will be county by county promotion, all in line with the ultimate goal of connecting Green (continental) and Blue (Adriatic) Croatia. Currently, the number of items being sold at Crotaste stands at more than 200 and they come from about a hundred family farms from all parts of the country.

Crotaste's shelves include Slavonian kulen, Dalmatian and Istrian prosciutto, GMO free eggs, asparagus, wine and many other high-quality Croatian products, from olive oil to Pag cheese, arancino and fish from the Adriatic, which the capital's residents will be able to buy for everyday consumption, as will tourists.

"Everything offered here is original and healthy, and this is just one of the pieces of the mosaic in creating a better Croatia, a better Slavonia," said Bozo Galic, Vukovar-Srijem County Prefect, and Minister Mario Banozic agreed with him. Slavonia can certainly be a generator of agricultural production. He also mentioned that he hopes that soon, the trade situation will be more favourable and that Croatian products will be on the tables of EU countries.

"Croatian agriculture is vulnerable, but we're slowly changing that. This year, we've achieved the highest growth in ten years in terms of both productivity and sales, and we'll continue to help domestic producers with measures. Agricultural food production is the future, and projects like this will be even more present. We're a small country, and we can boast of as many as 28 products with European quality labels,'' said the Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic, who asked people to buy local during this festive season.

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Monday, 2 November 2020

Fantastic Growth of Croatian-made Products in Western European Countries

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 31st of October, 2020, after taking over Adriatic taste plus, which has a well-established distribution network in Ireland, in the middle of this year, Adriatic has expanded its distribution network to the fast-growing Irish market, which is estimated to boast more than 30,000 Croats. Thanks to this business move, there will be a greater placement of Croatian-made products, not only in this country, but also in other Western European markets, according to Adriatic.

"In the first three quarters of this year, the Adriatic group recorded a growth of 40 percent, with Germany alone seeing an incredible 55 percent sales growth. Thanks to investing in the internal organisation and markets, all members of the group expect the realisation of annual sales plans for all brands at the end of this month. In the coming years, in addition to growth in the markets where we're present, we plan to conquer the markets of France and Italy, which have not yet become widely acquainted with Croatian-made products and our offer, through their own distribution companies,'' said Amir Bekic, CEO for strategic corporate development Adriatic Group.

Thanks to Adriatic's efforts, the Irish market was flooded with products from Atlantic Grupa, Podravka, Kras, Gavrilovic, Franck and other Croatian-made products and food brands. In addition to immigrants from Croatia, and tourists who tasted Croatian-made products during the summer and are happy to look for them on the shelves of their own supermarkets, Croatian-made products satisfy even the very picky Irish because they consistently bring in new flavours and quality.

"We're committed to working with Croatian companies in both the Irish and other EU markets. I'd especially like to highlight the successful example of joint sales growth with Atlantic Group of 32 percent this year. And with Argeta alone in Germany, we're recording an increase in sales of over 2 million euros when compared to last year. We're open for cooperation with all Croatian companies, which we guarantee a serious presence on prestigious European markets,'' said Anel Cerimagic.

It is obvious that the European market, in addition to boasting an extremely rich offer of international products, is still looking for something indigenous and different, which is why they're ready to taste the new offer coming from Croatia and the country's immediate region. Croatia is recognised in Europe as a beautiful country with exceptionally well preserved nature. Its rich gastronomy is becoming more and more famous, as is the tradition of the food industry that has created some of the largest regional brands. In this wave of positive perceptions towards their country of origin, Croatian-made products also have the initial advantage of being perceived as quality. However, in an extremely competitive market, knowledge, energy and work are needed in order for products from these areas to win their place on the shelves of Western European supermarkets, and go beyond small shops with exotic ethnic products. This is exactly what Adriatic has been working on for years and represents a good ticket for Croatian and regional brands to the demanding market of a rich part of Europe.

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Sunday, 11 October 2020

New Award for Lino Lada Ice Cream from Podravka and Ledo

As Novac writes on the 10th of October, 2020 - Lino Lada ice cream, created in collaboration with Podravka and Ledo, won the Golden Basket (Zlatna Kosarica) for the best product in the year 2019, a prestigious annual award given by the magazine I TRGOVAC.

In the category in which there are traditionally the largest number of applicants and strong competition of top Croatian products, Lino Lada ice cream won the expert jury over with its unique taste and innovation. The Golden Basket is a new big recognition for Lino Lada ice cream, which was declared the best in the world at the International Ice Cream Consortium in Sweden last year.

''The Golden Basket for Product of the Year confirmed that, together with our partner Ledo, we've recognised the potential of expanding the range of Lino Lada cream spreads into new innovative categories such as impulse ice creams. In the past period, Lino Lada ice cream has achieved exceptional results and delighted consumers on both the domestic and global markets. The Lino Lada brand is once again proving to be a favourite cream spread, and winning the Golden Basket for the product of the year for the second year in a row is an additional confirmation of the quality and innovation of Podravka's products,'' said Vesna Visnic, Podravka's Director of Kids' Food, Sweets and Snacks.

''We're extremely honoured to have received this award as another proof of the quality of what we do, for Lino Lada ice cream, which we made in collaboration with Podravka, which is truly the perfect partner for such an attractive and innovative product. In addition, it is a confirmation dedicated to the hard work of our employees, and especially the development team that successfully turns their creative ideas into the finest ice creams and frozen products. So, congratulations to them too! Every year we try to develop some new flavours and combinations and take a step further in the desire to innovate and enhance our creativity to meet the most diverse requirements of our customers and consumers, because they're our number one priority. This shows that we're succeeding in that,'' said Stela Ilijas, Assistant Director of Marketing and Development.

Lino Lada ice cream was first launched on the market in April 2019. In just a few days since the launch, the first stocks were sold out, making it the most sought-after dessert in all of the Republic of Croatia, and a total of 2.8 million pieces of Lino Lada ice cream were sold on the Croatian and foreign markets last year.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

Croatian Hot Sauce Wins Over Domestic and Foreign Buyers

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 17th of September, 2020, the Croatian hot sauce brand I love it hot/Volim ljuto has succeeded by continuously investing in business, expanding it, and actively winning over both domestic and foreign audiences.

Although the coronavirus crisis has slightly slowed down this Croatian hot sauce brand's business and plans, they have managed to increase the number of seedlings under their belt this year as well and as such they can realistically expect higher yields. This Croatian hot sauce story initially began seven years ago with the opening of a family farm, and two years later they opened a company for retail, wholesale and brand marketing.

"At the end of last year and the beginning of this year, we had an investment in ten new greenhouses with a total area of ​​1,500 square metres. We also planned to complete the expansion of the processing plant, but this is now going a bit slower due to the situation with the coronavirus pandemic. We've increased the number of seedlings, but not significantly because we expect a yield of up to 40 percent higher than last year due to the new greenhouses. So, it's the same area where in which we have a higher yield. The area on which we grow our produce today is just under one hectare in size, and all our plantations are under greenhouses or anti-hail nets, so the weather won't have a major impact on our yield,'' revealed Goran Vrabec, the director and founder of the Croatian hot sauce company Volim ljuto.

When they originally started out, they had only a few hot sauces to their name, and today the offer is much wider and in total, along with their seasonal items and gift packages, that number has risen to about two hundred products. Volim ljuto's products can be bought through their webshop or in their Spicy Days stores in Zagreb at Ilica 174, and the main products from this Croatian hot sauce company's range can be purchased throughout Croatia in small specialty stores they work with, such as Veronika delicacies.

''Our Spicy Days shop has been having good results. The level of interest and the sales have grown over time and we're now well known as the shop has been around for over three years. In it we have more than 1000 different items, not only Croatian products but also brands from all over the world. Of course, Croatian producers also have their place, especially when it comes to craft breweries. While the store wasn't operating, we compensated the sales revenue through online sales, which increased drastically during that period.

We had good cooperation with craft brewers who sold their beer through our web shop, that is, we were their platform for their sales, and they delivered it themselves. We kept that part of the offer even after the reopening,''  explained Vrabec.

Of the Croatian hot sauce company's total revenue, the webshop brings them about 35 percent, and they also cooperate with more than 350 restaurants and other catering and hospitality facilities. And that number is growing.

''Our best-selling products are our fermented sauces, Vrabasco, Vrabanero and Brutalero, which share equal sales throughout the year. The total amount of these nine sauces produced annually is about 25,000 pieces. We're currently working on new spice salts that will be in a new package with a practical grinder and on one specific sauce with a recipe from the Far East. The last product we presented was the Green Cherry hot sauce, which was made according to the recipe of the winner of last year's HomeChili competition for the best hot sauce,'' revealed Vrabec.

The director of Volim ljuto also revealed that they export smaller quantities of their products to specialised stores across the European Union (EU), and that they even place their products on Amazon through partners. They are also known for their collaborations with other Croatian producers and family farms from which new hit products are created.

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Monday, 20 July 2020

Respected Producer from Prelog Develops Special Protective Masks

It seems that everyone is talking about masks lately, and everyone of course has to have an opinion on them. The coronavirus pandemic has seen the demand for this otherwise rather obscure item used primarily in healthcare soar, and in some cases, the price for them has sky rocketed with them. One Prelog manufacturer has used the pandemic as an advantage...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of July, 2020, the ongoing global pandemic of the new coronavirus has accelerated a project to produce protective masks, and plan is to present these particular masks to Croatia's National Civil Protection Headquarters in September. The Prelog-based manufacturer claims that this is mask that can protect its users against the new coronavirus as well as all other biological threats.

Sestan-Busch, a world-famous manufacturer of anti-ballistic safety helmets from the usually overlooked Croatian town of Prelog, is currently completing a project which involves a multifunctional safety helmet for the National Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia, which is co-financed by ESI funds.

''However, the thing that could be of interest everyone is the project of creating a mask that protects people against coronavirus,'' said Goran Basarac, the executive director for strategic development and implementation of the Sestan-Bush project in conversation with Lider.

According to him, the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the Prelog manufacturers project of making these protective masks, which, as previously noted, they plan to present to the National Civil Protection Headquarters in September. 

These Prelog-made masks could find themselves available on the market by the end of this year.

For more on Croatian companies, producers and products, follow Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Will Coronavirus Saga Improve Conditions for Croatian Fruit and Vegetables?

Will the coronavirus pandemic actually provide what Croatia needs in the end to step up its game when it comes to not only digitalisation, but the production and processing of its own produce?

As Jadranka Dozan/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of May, 2020, the invitation to Croatian farmers to cooperate is a move from the company ENNA Fruit for the organisation of the production, purchase, distribution and processing of fruits and vegetables. It was created by connecting several companies, with all of them recognising the great synergy potential in the move.

ENNA Fruit has, as such, invited Croatian farmers to cooperate, and that is the title of a press release that was distributed to the media from that company. As we're living in the coronavirus era and we're hearing about more and more companies, associations and businesses needing to further adapt the ways in which they do business in order to stay afloat, such an press release sounds almost like a "routine" announcement, but the story could have more far-reaching consequences and could suggest a significant step forward for Croatia's fruit and vegetable production.

Namely, ENNA Fruit is a new company created by connecting the business and interests of Enna Agro and Marinada, and as was pointed out in the aforementioned press release/announcement, this new company is now taking the leading position in the organisation of production, purchase, distribution and processing of fruits and vegetables from Croatia and its immediate region.

"The Croatian fruit and vegetable market is relatively small and market consolidation is of strategic importance, both for agricultural producers and for buyers. Manufacturers have been given specialised infrastructure that will provide them with the easiest access to the market, and customers are given high-quality goods prepared for use to the highest standards. ENNA Fruit connects primary agricultural production and the market through cooperative relations, its own purchasing centres, involving the processing and distribution of the entire range of fruits and vegetables. This approach ensures quality, continuity and quantity for customers,'' they explained from the company which was registered less than a month and a half ago, with its headquarters in Vukovar.

Its headquarters are at the same address as ENNA Agro, and it is the company by which Pavao Vujnovac, also the owner of PPD, expanded his business portfolio to the field of agriculture. Among other things, ENNA Agro has stepped into the supply of fruit to the massive Konzum sales chain.

This new step forward of this equally new company, in addition to the financial strength of its founder, is also interesting in light of the fact that Vujnovac's PPD, through a joint venture with INA, is also the main shareholder of Petrokemija, a domestic producer of mineral fertilisers.

Marinada, on the other hand, is a company specialising in the production, purchase, storage, packaging and sale of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. The company's headquarters in Slatina boasts one of the most modern production plants for pasteurised fruits and vegetables in the entire region, and it also has several purchase centres, as well as an established sales office in Zagreb.

All in all, it has a solid infrastructure, and Denis Matijevic, one of the co-owners and members of the company, has long been engaged in expertise in the field of agriculture, among other things, and participation in the development of agricultural development strategies.

Linking the business of ENNA Agra and Marinada is thus considered a logical move with potentially significant synergy effects, especially since the coronavirus pandemic seems to have had a stimulating effect on recognising the importance of food production for Croatia and raising the question of self-sufficiency in general.

Thus, the statement from ENNA Fruits points out that "agriculture, in order to be competitive and sustainable, must be horizontally and vertically integrated."

Through integration, they say, the company wil provide all the necessary inputs for production, knowledge and technology transfer, added value for the products, as well as for the sales market. They added that the situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak only further confirmed the need for the stable organisation of agricultural production and distribution and the integration of the entire process from production to product placement, with the aim of optimising the entire chain.

For more on Croatian agriculture, follow our business page. For all you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic in relation to Croatia, stay up to date with our dedicated section.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Green Week 2020 in Berlin Opens With Podravka Reception for 3500 People

The Berlin Fair, one of the largest in the world, is a great stage and opportunity to promote Croatian products. Green Week 2020 has already seen an appearance from Croatia's beloved Podravka in the form of a reception for 3500 people.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of January, 2020 the Republic of Croatia is a partner of one of the world's most important fairs of agriculture and food industry, Green Week 2020, which takes place in the German capital city of Berlin from January the 17th to the 26th, 2020, and Podravka, as a leading Croatian food company, is actively participating in the activities of representing Croatia as a country.

In addition to presenting and presenting a wide range of its products, Podravka is also participating at Green Week 2020 as a promoter of Croatian cuisine by organising a national restaurant offering traditional Croatian dishes, which was also visited by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on the first day of the fair, accompanied by Marin Pucar, Podravka's CEO and his various associates.

The first opportunity to taste the specialties of Croatian cuisine prepared daily by Podravka's culinary promoters at Green Week 2020 began at the very start of the fair, many guests enjoyed a festive reception on the occasion of the opening of the fair on the 16th of January, where 3500 guests and delegations from around 100 countries enjoyed Croatian delicacies.

For this occasion, 4000 servings of meals and 12,000 cakes were prepared exclusively from Croatian ingredients - including a massive 2500 kilograms of meat and 1000 kilograms of fish. The taste of the rich meat and fish menu was spiced with the indispensable Vegeta. Dolcela, Žito, Lino Lada and Čokolino are also all present with their cake production. With ham and kulen as recognisable Croatian trump cards, Green Week 2020's international guests were delighted by Podravka's offer.

In cooperation with numerous partners and Croatian producers, the daily offer of Podravka's Croatian national restaurant at Berlin's Green Week 2020 will feature a rich menu with selected dishes from across all Croatian regions; a selection of top cheeses, prosciutto, kulen, fish dishes, various dumplings and a variety of cakes and other desserts.

"The Berlin Fair, one of the largest in the world, is a great stage and opportunity to promote Croatian products, strengthen economic ties with Germany and other European countries and further step into markets around the world. Podravka also participates in international fairs of this importance with great pleasure in promoting Croatian traditional cuisine. This contributes to strengthening the recognition of Croatia as a tourist and gastronomic destination,'' said Marin Pucar, CEO of Podravka.

Green Week 2020 in Berlin, featuring Croatian manufacturers among more than 1,800 exhibitors and over 100,000 products from all around the world, is an opportunity for the additional promotion of Croatia in the context of the EU Council Presidency throughout the first half of 2020.

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Monday, 6 January 2020

Croatian Fish More and More Popular Abroad, Export Figures Speak Volumes

Everyone knows that fish and seafood in general makes up a huge part of the Croatian, particularly Dalmatian and Istrian diets. Fresh fish caught from the sparkling Adriatic sea paired with a domestic wine from grapes grown and harvested from local vineyards is nothing abnormal, but it seems that Croatian fish is becoming a big hit abroad as well as at home.

As Novac writes on the 6th of January, 2020, it would seem that Croatian fish is an increasingly popular delicacy abroad, far beyond not only Croatian and EU borders, as has been evidenced by impressive export figures.

More specifically, in the first eight months of 2019, the Republic of Croatia exported fresh or chilled bluefin tuna worth a massive 31.2 million euros (a whole 2,800 tonnes of it) outside of Croatia's borders, which is almost in the ranking of total exports in the year 2018 as a whole, reaching 33.9 million euros (or 3,000 tonnes in total).

The total exports of Croatian fish, crustaceans and molluscs back in 2018 amounted to an impressive 170.4 million euros (47,000 tonnes), of which fresh or chilled fish accounted for 108.2 million euros (21,000 tonnes in total).

In addition to tuna, which is a favourite in Japan, the largest exports to the European Union markets are fresh or chilled sea bass (26.4 million euros or 4.300 tonnes), sea bream (23.6 million euros or 3.800 tonnes) sardines (3.6 million euros or 4,500 tonnes) and anchovies (3.5 million euros or 2,200 tonnes).

This encouraging export data clearly shows that the international market recognides the very high quality of Croatian fish that comes from sustainable farming. This quality is promoted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) through the project "The fish of Croatia - eat your worth", which aims to encourage citizens to consume fish as often as possible and thus contribute positively to not only this trend but to the development of the Croatian economy as a whole.

By the end of August 2019, Croatia had exported a massive 14,100 tonnes of fresh Croatian fish worth 82.6 million euros. The majority of Croatian aquaculture production is exported to the European Union (Italy, Slovenia, Spain) and as far away as Japan.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Made in Croatia: First Truffle Gin Launched, 100 Euro Bottles Do Well

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes on the 12th of November, 2019, ''underground mushrooms aren't going to put food on the table or raise children,'' is a sentence that spouses Radmila and Goran Karlić heard often when they decided to leave their jobs and devote themselves to truffle farming in Paladini near Buzet on the Istrian peninsula, a northern area of Croatia.

Way back in 1994, they initially founded Karlić truffles - The company through which they are now engaged in the purchase and the sale of truffles with their children, and the processing and sales of their products in shops, restaurants and even on foreign markets, as Ivana Karlić, the youngest member of the family, says.

''They said that we were crazy!''

This year, the Karlić family marketed gin with white truffles, the very first in the entire world. Ivan Karlić, Ivana's brother, came up with the idea, who is described as a creator and a big fan of truffles, so he dedicated that to combining them with every dish. The idea originated from a big love of gin and truffles, and was created in collaboration with the Aura distillery, who also work with other traditional types of beverages.

"People like gin, it's becoming more popular so the conclusion was - why not? We worked on it for several months, we made 222 limited bottles, the price of one is about 100 euros. Three months ago, they were put on the market, there are maybe 20 bottles left. People have recognised the value of product and we get a lot of praise and orders from all over the world,'' explains the young truffle enthusiast.

Since that gin turned out to be a great idea, they have already started collecting the finest truffle specimens, which must be perfectly round for gin, in order to produce a limited edition gin next year. The first in the world also offered a unique truffle hunt in which guests can participate, and Radmila Karlić came up with that idea which adds a whole other, more personal element to the entire thing.

''I'm delighted that we have such an innovative offer for our guests, and they're delighted. We have guests from New York who have returned five times for the tour, and their 15-year-old child dreams of working with truffles one day,'' says Ivana.

If guests decide to take part in the adventure, they can also stay at Villa Olive, surrounded by olive trees, for which the Karlić family won the Tourist Flower Award this year in the category of best accommodation for an active holiday.

Through play, Ivana and Ivan slowly learned the business and became much better acquainted with the black and white underground mushrooms.

"The price of truffles wasn't high back then, so we needed to find as many as possible to earn something. Asparagus and other mushrooms were harvested, but our efforts were directed by the truffles,'' Ivana tells us.

Twelve years ago, they planted the first truffle plantation in Croatia with 2,700 oak trees and some hazelnuts, and every day they watered the trees - the cost of which was high because they were made in a laboratory - irrigated and pruned. It was a big and risky experiment.

"After six years of waiting, my brother went for a walk with the dogs and found the first truffle, smaller than a tennis ball. When he brought it home, we were overjoyed because at the time everyone was telling us we were crazy. It was the first truffle found on a plantation in Croatia,'' Ivana explained.

They even get orders all the way from Singapore.

Black truffles grow all year round in the hills, there are more of them and their price is lower. Winter white truffles grow in the lowlands from September to late December or early January, and its price is very high because it is a delicacy that grows in two areas in the world - in Croatia and Italy.

The Karlić family annually remove a large amount from the plantation in Buzet, right next to the forest, which is the original site, they then sell and market them in restaurants across Croatia.

Exports have been particularly successful, selling truffles through distributors across Europe, in countries like Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, but the orders come from much further away from our continent too, including from Singapore.

Truffella, the world's first truffle chocolate spread in the world which has been being marketed since back in 2016, stands out in with its colourful product offering.

''Mixing mushrooms and chocolate is a demanding and risky business, but it's still our best-selling product. As for this season, it's not been brilliant, but it's not been bad either, there will always be truffles. The Istrian forests are suitable for agriculture, the locals take care of them, they're not polluted and no concreting is allowed; we stick together as a community. That's why we're glad when someone plants a plantation and succeeds,'' concludes Ivana Karlić.

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

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