Friday, 17 September 2021

Health Minister Visits Site of Future Institute of Immunology Factory

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš on Friday visited the site of a future Institute of Immunology factory in Brezje near Sveta Nedelja, west of Zagreb, where the production of snake antivenom would be relaunched, to be followed by the production of plasma-derived products and child and other vaccines.

Institute of Immunology director Vedran Čardžić said that the construction of the factory, a project worth about HRK 100 million, should start at the end of 2022 or early 2023.

The factory's main product would be vaccines but there are plans to launch the production of antivenom for the duration of preparations for construction work and regulation of the related legal matters.

"We will launch the production of antivenom during preparations for the construction of the new factory. That unit will be part of the new factory which will focus on vaccines against children's diseases (measles). Those vaccines used to be produced by the Institute of Immunology and the state owns the master seeds which international experts say are the best because they give the best vaccination results owing to their properties," said Čardžić.

This is expected to be followed by the launch of production of plasma-derived products and potential adoption of technologies for the production of newer virus vaccines in cooperation with partners, which is being negotiated, he said.

Minister Beroš said that this spring Croatia was faced with a shortage of antivenom, and even though the problem was quickly solved, he noted that as a tourist destination, Croatia should be able to rely on its own antivenom production.

He noted that antivenom production was expected to start before the next tourist season, adding that current employees of the Institute of Immunology would make up the core of the research staff at the new factory.

Čardžić also pointed to the need to attract new experts, noting that he would contact universities to inquire about successful students nearing graduation who would be interested in working at the Institute of Immunology.

Sveta Nedelja Mayor Dario Zurovec expressed hope the project would be a sustainable model of public-private partnership, announcing support by local authorities.

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Saturday, 11 September 2021

The Biggest Baklava Factory in EU Opens in Croatia

September 11, 2021 - While baklava is not a traditional Croatian type of pastry, a pair of investors from the UK opened the biggest baklava factory in the EU in Croatia.

The company called New Bakery has been making baklava in Croatia for a while now, and they are one of the biggest producers of the Turkish-origin pastry in the world. Yesterday, as Igor Rahmetović reports for the Croatian Radiotelevision, a new site was opened in Donji Stupnik, which is a Zagreb suburb. It is the highest-producing site in the EU, with the most high-tech equipment in the field and numerous certificates of exellence, as well as halal and kosher certificates.

The company has been producing baklava in Croatia for the past 7 years. However, the older production site in Velika Gorica was not able to produce enough baklava to satisfy the ever-growing market of people with sweet tooth, so an additional investment has been made to increase the production. To date, the investors Constantine Azar and Mehmet Yasar Halim, both from London, invested over 5 million Euro into the baklava production in Croatia.

The New Bakery company produces over 500 tonnes of baklava per year, which translates to over 25 million individual baklava. Almost all of the baklava produced by them in Croatia will continue to be exported. Their products can be found in all the biggest supermarket chains in the world. Constantine Azar explained that the reason why they chose Croatia to base their operation is the excellent location, ports and the fact that there are enough workers (who know how to make baklava!) to work in their factory. Currently, there are 60 people working in the baklava factory in Donji Stupnik, but it was announced yesterday that they plan to employ 30 additional workers by the end of next year.