Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Croatian Chamber of Agriculture Concerned Over Plans to Relocate Fairs From Central Zagreb

ZAGREB, 28 Sept, 2021 - The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) on Tuesday requested a meeting with Mayor Tomislav Tomašević after the announcements that fairs and food festivals could be relocated from the centre of Zagreb caused concern among HPK members.

The HPK president Mladen Jakopović said in a press release that in recent years Zagreb residents have had an opportunity to buy home-made products and locally grown agricultural produce at various events organised in the main square Trg Bana Jelačića.

Lately, we have received information from the organisers of such events and from producers that the new city administration seems inclined to relocate those events to less attractive venues.

That's why the HPK would like to meet with Mayor Tomašević and his aides to discuss the matter and present their position on the short supply chains and the protection of domestic production, Jakopović said.

The HPK is willing to provide the City of Zagreb with all the necessary support to improve, in cooperation with farmers, the availability of locally grown agricultural products to all citizens of Zagreb, in compliance with the EU criteria and the criteria for the protection of urban space.

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Friday, 23 July 2021

HPK: Croatia to Ask EU for €2m in Aid for Dairy Sector

ZAGREB, 23 July 2021 - The grave situation in the dairy sector, caused by rising costs due to growing prices of cereals and fodder, has prompted the agriculture ministry to ask the EU for HRK 15 million (€2m) in aid for fodder supplies for local milk producers, the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) said on Friday.

The HPK said in a press release that representatives of Croatian dairies, the HPK and Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković held talks on Thursday on the serious situation in the dairy sector.

One of the conclusions of the meeting is that the ministry should ask the EU for HRK 15 million in aid for the procurement of fodder.

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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

HPK and MHP Launch Project for Croatian Producers from Quake-Hit Areas

January the 13th, 2021 - Central Croatia was hit by a devastating earthquake at the end of what was a truly horrendous 2020, but several groups, including HPK (Croatian Chamber of Agriculture) and MHP (Cluster of Small Croatian Producers) are launching a joint initiative to help market what is made by Croatian producers from Sisak-Moslavina County.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the two groups are jointly launching a project to market the products made by Croatian producers from the areas most deeply affected by the recent earthquake and are as such inviting Croatian producers to contact HPK in order to find their way to their customers and consumers.

As they point out, they expect that this initiative will help Croatian farmers who are currently facing huge problems, both in production and in product placement. It's worth mentioning that MHP has been recording constant growth for many years and can boast of good results in business related to the development and distribution of products of small Croatian producers.

"In most cases, these are Croatian producers who sold their produce to the local population through markets, and when it comes to that, it's still questionable when they'll be able to start working again, our role will be in the regular purchase and preparation of products for the consumer market. In particular, the idea is to organise a packaging centre in which to pack and prepare goods for further distribution,'' they emphasised.

MHP will place goods made by Croatian producers from the earthquake-afflicted areas of the country on the market under its own name, and the final placement to the end consumer will be in the process of preparation with key partners who are leaders in retail.

"Given that it is estimated that this is not a large volume of products, we believe that with a maximum of 200 square metres, we'll have enough space to meet the placement target for about 50 Croatian manufacturers. We will provide the space under our direction, and we asked HPK to get involved in the segment of furnishing the space and speeding up the registration procedures. We're going to deal with the whole procedure without compensation for those Croatian producers, which is another reason why we're asking for the support of HPK, the umbrella organizstion of all Croatian farmers,'' concluded Marko Spiljar, director of MHP Alimentum trade.

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Monday, 23 November 2020

Croats Urged to Buy Locally Grown and Made Products During December

ZAGREB, November 23, 2020 - The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) on Monday called on the Croatians to buy locally grown and made products during December and thus increase local produce sales and support local farm jobs.

HPK representatives told a news conference in Zagreb that the preservation of the local agricultural production could be possible with the raised awareness of the purchase and consumption of local food and products.

"We are soon entering December, the month marked by the biggest spending, and although we are in a specific year when we are battling COVID-19, we believe that this is one more opportunity to demonstrate our agricultural patriotism," Tajana Radic of the HPK chamber said at the news conference.

She underscored that so far this year, there has been a marked increase in the purchase of produce from local family-run farms, and called for the promotion of the Croatian agricultural production, which, she said, is a way to  "help contribute to the growth of the (national) economy."

The HPK representatives said that this year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic also raised the awareness of boosting self-sufficiency in agriculture and of protecting the local production.

Croatians spent an estimated HRK 15.3 billion during the Christmas and New Year holidays in 2019, which was a half billion kuna more than in the corresponding period of 2018, Radic said.

This year, the consumption is likely to be reduced due to the corona crisis, however, this is an opportunity to focus on what we buy, Radic added.

More than a quarter of household budget goes on food

According to some estimates, Croatians spend more than 28% of their household budget on food, and similar ratio is expected during the Christmas holiday season, she noted,

"Every kuna spent on the purchase of the local products multiplies the effect on the growth and development of the Croatian agriculture and economy," she said.

During the news conference the Chamber presented the project called "Plavi Ceker" (the "Blue Grocery Bag" in an unofficial translation) launched by the City of Zagreb with the aim of  promoting high-quality agricultural produce and food made by local businesses from all parts of Croatia.

The purpose of the project is to help SMEs in marketing their products on the Zagreb market.

The Blue Grocery Bag project encompasses high-quality products made by local producers.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Croatia's Jakopovic Elected Vice-President of European Agricultural Union COPA

ZAGREB, Sept 19, 2020 - The head of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK), Mladen Jakopovic was elected by a majority vote to be a vice-president of the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA), the HPK stated on Saturday.

On Friday, COPA, an umbrella European farmers organisation, stated that it had elected Christiane Lambert of the French FNSEA association to lead the European farmers' organisation for the next two years.

Apart from the COPA president, the new six elected vice-presidents are Jakopovic as well as Palle Borgstrom of Sweden, Massimiliano Giansanti of Italy, Tim Cullnan of Ireland, Roomet Sormus of Estonia, and PedroIgnacio Gallardo Barrena of Spain.

Jakopovic was quoted by the HPK as saying that farmers in the EU and members of COPA have recognised the work of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture and that the chamber had managed to become a prominent member of this European agricultural association over the recent years.

He says he will be committed to promoting more strongly the interests of Croatian farmers in the next two years.

Following the announcement of her election, Christiane Lambert was quoted in the COPA statement that she was aware of the responsibilities facing this Presidency."

"Farmers all over Europe are worried and uncertainties are many. Should it be on the CAP, the Farm to Fork, the Green Deal, the Brexit process, or the recovery plan, we must find collective answers at the EU level in the near future. I firmly believe that farming is a strategic sector for Europe— the COVID crisis has shown this. Europe needs to reconnect with its agricultural ambitions," the French farmer said.

COPA is made up of 60 organisations from the countries of the European Union and 36 partner organisations from other European countries such as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey.

This broad membership allows COPA to represent both the general and specific interests of farmers in the European Union. COPA has been recognised by the Community authorities as the organisation speaking on behalf of the European agricultural sector as a whole.

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Saturday, 4 July 2020

Chamber of Agriculture Urges Consumers to Buy Domestic Vegetables

ZAGREB, July 4, 2020 - The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) on Saturday called on consumers, buyers, and retailers to help domestic farmers by buying their vegetables because the corona crisis has put them in unenviable market position and this year's yield risks going to waste.

Domestic farmers are desperate as they have no one to sell their product to and the yield risks staying in the fields instead of in stores and farmers' markets, Vjekoslav Budnec, chair of the HPK vegetable farming committee, told a press conference

"Due to the fear of a vegetable shortage in the wake of the corona crisis, vegetable farming increased this spring, which was the goal, to raise self-sufficiency," HPK leaders said.

This year's yield is good but farmers have no one to sell it to as buyers knock the purchase price below the producer price, they added.

"Unfortunately, tourism and tourist consumption as one of the essential sales channels have been absent, while the import and placement of cheap vegetables and market surpluses from the EU and regional markets through retail chains have continued," HPK said.

HPK president Mladen Jakopovic called on consumers to buy domestic vegetables as a way to protect domestic production as well as on retail chains to put more domestic vegetables on their shelves.

HPK expects the government to define a clear vegetable farming strategy.

Its leaders said Croatia imported 56,072 tonnes of vegetables worth €46.37 million in the first three months of this year.

Jakopovic said this was up 11.4% in quantity year on year but that the value was the same, "which proves that even during the corona crisis, world market surpluses were arriving in Croatia at lower prices."

He added that the import of every vegetable was increasing.

According to estimates, there are some 39,000 vegetable farms in Croatia. Their average size is 0.32 hectares, resulting in a low yield per hectare and low competitiveness.