Friday, 9 April 2021

Four Schools Combating Period Poverty in Croatia

April 9, 2021 - Following Scotland's policy and relevant scientific research on period poverty in Croatia, four schools in Croatia want to help female pupils in their struggles of womanhood.

10% of women in Croatia can't afford menstrual pads and tampons – showed the results of the first big research on period poverty in the country. Following these results, as Srednja.hr reports, Machinery and Traffic School Varaždin was the first to secure free menstrual products for pupils, and three schools in Istria are on the same path.

As confirmed to Istra.In, Vladimir Gortan High School in Buje already secured free menstrual products, Pula Gymnasium's execution is coming soon, and Buzet High School is trying to find a way to implement it.

„Graduation pupils from 4.B, class of Hotel-tourist technicians came to the idea to place a pads dispenser in the girl's bathroom so that girls can take pads when needed“, said psychologist Petra Bošnjak for Istra.In.

She added that the pupils originally thought to finance this change by themselves, but the school decided they can cover the expenses, while the pupil's duty is to follow the development and fill the dispenser with new pads when needed.

„Their notion was immediately accepted and put in place“, concluded Bošnjak.

While Pula Gymnasium still hasn't put the free menstrual products scheme in practice, they announced it to start this Monday, April 12th. 

„Looking at the Varaždin school, we talked with the pedagogy service in school and decided to secure free menstrual products ourselves. I think it's a good approach to be more open towards women and as a school to send a message that we want a clear approach to topics we don't speak loud enough about and to more frequently talk about topics like equality which today is very very important“, said principal of Pula Gymnasium, Filip Zoričić. 

The school will finance menstrual products and which will be available to the pupils in the psychology and pedagogy office. 

As already mentioned, Buzet High School wants to implement the same help to girl pupils too, but the project is in the early stages, and the school vows to do everything in its power to make it a reality. Last week, they sent an inquiry to a drug store asking to sponsor free menstrual products for the girls at Buzet High School, but the drug store so far didn't respond.

„We still didn't get an answer, but we only sent it last week. We certainly want to make this idea a reality, and we won't give up until we find a sponsor for this action“, said principal Margareta Gumilar persistently.

With different stages of success in ensuring free menstrual products for their pupils, these schools are positioning themselves as champions of positive change for gender equality. They are fighting to remove one financial struggle for the pupils that certainly gives uneven position. The prices of menstrual products in Croatia range from 10 to over 20 kunas. 

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

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Adriatic Story - The Croatian Marine Life Memory Game for Kids

April the 6th, 2021 - Adriatic Story (Croatian: Jadranska prica) is a memory game for kids containing the name of every marine orgamism living in the Adriatic sea! This 100% Croatian-made product is designed to get the youngest in our society better acquainted with what lives below the surface.

As Morski writes, two Croatian agronomists, Marina and Filip, are both self-proclaimed lovers of the sea and what lives within it. One year ago, they became parents and then they started thinking about how to educate their little girl, as well as all the other children about the most famous inhabitants of the Adriatic sea. They soon came up with an interesting idea - to open a craft that produces an educational Croatian memory game for kids - Adriatic Story.

''Marina learned through scientific-teaching work that Croats eat too little fish, and Filip is a man from the sea, who spent his whole life by the sea and with fish (he also lived part of his life in Norway, where he worked at the Institute for Marine Research). Three years ago we started a blog together with the aim of promoting fish consumption. We regularly prepared dishes from fish and from other sorts of seafood, we also educated our companions as to just why it's very important to eat fish,'' say the parents of little Nika, who they wanted to educate about the most famous inhabitants of the Adriatic sea.

This is how the idea for the Adriatic Story memory game was initially born. The game consists of 24 cards, ie 12 pairs containing inhabitants of the Adriatic sea. The illustrations for the Adriatic Story memory game were done by Croatian illustrators Tena Letica and Ivan Dilberovic. In order not to be just an ordinary memory game for kids, the box also contains a brochure with a description of each individual marine organism so that children can also learn interesting facts about each creature.

One special and highly personal addition to this Croatian game is a personalised card, on which the name of the child, the owner of the Adriatic Story memory game, can be written. The game is intended for children aged three and up, but is interesting and educational for both older children and even for adults.

As a child grows up, memory takes on a new dimension, and before the age of three it is mainly stimulated by pictorial memory, at the age of three, children mostly learn to connect in pairs, and later on they can learn many interesting things about organisms living in the Adriatic and connect them to seafood dishes consumed at home, at school or elsewhere.

Adriatic Story's entire production cycle (from the production of the game's illustrations, the preparation for printing, the printing and packaging) have all taken place right here at home in Croatia.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

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.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Croatian Gideon Brothers, Atlantic Group Begin Product Development Project

March the 24th, 2021 - The Croatian Gideon Brothers and the Alantic Group (Atlantic Grupa) have come together to launch a large product testing and development project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Gideon Brothers and the Atlantic Group are well known, highly successful companies and the pair coming together is likely to yield impressive results. The two companies have launched a project to develop an intelligent modular platform for process management in logistics, including a special solution for integrating autonomous mobile robots into a warehouse management system (WMS).

The central part of this research and development project are the advanced robots of the Croatian company Gideon Brothers, which will be directly connected to the WMS system of the Atlantic Group in its logistics and distribution centre in Velika Gorica near Zagreb. The move will serve as a testing ground for new product development and further testing.

As part of the large project, the Croatian Gideon Brothers will work on the development of the so-called "swarm" way of using robots, in which robots reach users in certain storage areas by following orders generated directly from the WMS system. Users will be able to read, on an integrated screen that the robots are equipped with, which products from a particular zone must be placed on the robot in order to complete a particular order.

One of the key objectives of the project is to increase the efficiency and flow of logistics operations to mitigate the risk of labour shortages, especially in periods of high demand.

"Humans are the main creators of value when it comes to logistics operations and that will certainly not change at any point in the foreseeable future. The close collaboration of humans and their robotic helpers is a way in which we can strengthen supply chains in the post-COVID-19 era and help the economy alleviate the pressure of labuor shortages and provide resources for growth. Our robots are here to help,'' said Matija Kopic, CEO and co-founder of Gideon Brothers.

"We're witnessing a robot revolution across various industries, accompanied by changes in attitudes. They're no longer a threat to the business or existence of (human) workers, but experience has shown that they can be a useful tool, working together with people to make the role of the human employees easier, more fulfilling and more productive. With this new solution and the complete integration of robots into our logistics operations, we want not only to alleviate any labour shortages, but also to meet increasingly complex market and consumer demands while maintaining business stability and profitability,'' added Darija Pizent, the Atlantic Group's supply chain management director.

Given the great potential of the new solution, the two successful Croatian companies applied for co-financing from the European Structural and Investment Fund - Increasing the development of new products and services arising from research and development activities - Phase II, together with their academic partner, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Zagreb.

The Croatian Gideon Brothers company is one of the pioneers in the field of autonomous navigation for mobile robots. Their impressive technology is based on advanced, human-like 3D visual perception, which allows robots to recognise various objects and understand what surrounds them, making it easier to adapt to their environment and spot obstacles when working safely in close contact with human workers.

Robots and vehicles powered by Gideon Brothers' technology currently work in warehouses and plants of some of the largest Croatian, European and global companies in the manufacturing, logistics and retail sectors.

For more, follow Made in Croatia. To keep up with all current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including travel rules, border crossing advice, testing centres and more, bookmark this page.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Plaja-Beach Finder: Croatian App to Digitalise All of Country's Beaches

March the 22nd, 2021 - One Croatian app, Plaja-Beach Finder, made by a man from Split, will place all of Croatia's beautiful beaches on one platform for tourists in order to answer the (in)famous ''Where's the beach?'' question.

As Morski/Jurica Gaspar writes, after eight weeks of the StartIT academy, a mobile application was created that will digitalise all beaches in Croatia. The Plaja-Beach Finder mobile app has been available for download since January the 24th this year, and has been downloaded more than a thousand times so far.

''I initially came up with the idea for a mobile application that would showcase all the beaches near you, I thought it up after many years in tourism (more specifically fifteen years) because of the most common question asked by each guest during their very first contact with a tourist worker - where is the beach?'' Dejan Grepo said.

Croatian Tourist boards continue to spend money on the totally unnecessary printing of maps

Extensive research has been done with tourist boards and all types of tourism workers from down in Dubrovnik all the way up to Pula and everyone has agreed with the same thing; guests ask this question more than they do anything else.

The answer to the question of where the beach is so far has been offered through paper printed maps that are impractical, wasteful and cause complication in explaining a very, very simple answer to the millions of foreign visitors Croatia receives each and every summer season.

''The Plaja-Beach Finder mobile app works to show you the nearest beaches, beach-related news and weather forecasts, depending on your current location. Using this Croatian mobile app, you can search beaches by map, category, ie type of beach (sandy, pebble, nudist…) or by search engine to simply enter the name of the beach, city, place or by radius by specifying the radius in which you want to search beaches your current location,'' explaind the creator of the application.

Croatia actually has three times more beaches than we think it has...

In agreement with the Association of Persons with Disabilities, the category of beaches for persons with disabilities has also been added into the app, so for the first time they will have an insight into the beaches that are accessible to them with all of the appropriate facilities.

''For each beach there is a detailed description entered by the Tourist Board, as well as their location, content on offer and pictures. In addition to the navigation option, there is an option via which you can virtually view each beach via 360 View. The user can leave a comment as well as a rating for each beach, thus creating a ranking by quality, which greatly facilitates how people choose the most suitable beaches for their needs and wants,'' the app's creator added.

A very important feature of the Plaja-Beach Finder mobile application is that it can be used in Offline mode too, meaning that accurate navigation to chosen beaches can be used without the need for an Internet signal, which will greatly help people out, especially foreign guests who visit the coast.

Tourist Boards have the opportunity to contact all users of the mobile application about events in their area.

''An interesting finding during the undertaken research is that in the Croatian Register of Beaches there are about 1600 beach locations, but with my detailed research this number is actually much higher, there are even up to three times more beaches than we think there are, which puts us at the very top in the number of beaches not only in Europe but throughout the whole world,'' said Grepo.

''New beaches are entered daily at the request of local tourist boards, we already have beaches in all counties across Croatia and total entry is expected in the middle of May,'' he continued, adding that in just one month they've successfully digitalised over 15 percent of the Croatian coast in cooperation with numerous local tourist boards up and down the coastline.

The signing of a cooperation agreement is underway with the tourist boards on the coast, which have recognised the potential and need for the Plaja-Beach Finder mobile app and accept it as a tool for providing answers to visitors in the upcoming tourist season.

''The Plaja0Beach Finder mobile app also has potential for the international market, it's being prepared for presentation at tourism fairs in London and Berlin as a Croatian product intended for all tourist destinations on the coast. We're also arranging cooperation to present the mobile app in the Croatia Full Off New Beginings campaign under the auspices of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) for the 2021 season. The potential of the mobile app was also recognised by the University of Split, which gave us space to work in the most modern newly opened Technology Park in Split. After 1000 years of using paper maps, I believe that the time has come to use the digital technological possibilities that are available to all of us today on our mobile phones, and thus make our lives easier,'' concluded the app's creator, Dejan Grepo.

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Sunday, 21 March 2021

Anja Cancar from Krizevci Kicks Off Own Business During Pandemic

March the 21st, 2021 - When it comes to the pandemic, it's rare to hear about anyone succeeding economically unless they perhaps make protective face masks, hand gel or some other form of PPE, but not everything is quite to bleak. Anja Cancar from the continental Croatian town of Krizevci for example, decided to take a creative path just before the virus struck Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ivan Tominac writes, Anja Cancar, who is id rather ironically an economist by profession, decided to throw herself into a not-so-popular business. This young woman decided to dip her feet into candle wax, not quite literally of course. Anja decided to start making candles in February last year, just before things went south for Croatia and much of the rest of Europe. Today, she also has her own business.

"We've always had candles in the house - some normal ones, some fragrant ones. It seemed like a good idea to me for the very reason that I'd give it to someone myself, so why not make a nice, fragrant gift,'' began Anja Cancar. Briefly and clearly, it all started as a little experiment, and her candle-making skills from the idea to this point have advanced considerably.

“I learned by watching, trying, reading, learning and the method of trying and failing. A lot of material failed in the beginning of making candles. Even today, I have cans that are filled with that 'failed' paraffin," said Anja Cancar.

Failed paraffin is a thing of the past for her, and now she already knows exactly what the temperature hould be, how many drops of oil are needed and what paraffin she needs. This is another reason as to why experience makes all the difference, and now that she has mastered the entire candle making process, she is able to describe, and in a very simple way, the process by which her candles are made.

“Although it takes over an hour and a half by itself, the production process is easy to describe. The first step is to cut the paraffin, and the same is then melted down into a double-bottomed bowl.

Temperature is a key factor in making a candle - I pay attention to the temperature of pouring the essential oil, adding stearin and pouring into cans. I add the essential oil either alone or in pairs. I have three candles on sale that are a combination of scents, while the other three are independent scents,'' explained Anja Cancar.

If we're talking about production only, Anja Cancar makes all of the candles herself, but she also has associates in the accompanying activities. Her boyfriend helps her with the physical work, and her fellow citizens help with design and labels. So we can talk about the product as a local one from Krizevci, and although this is what makes a difference in itself, the fact that Anja does this all while maintaining a steady job, is a clear link with dedication.

“I think my candles are special because I'm present in their creation, I promote them, I come up with their names… Making candles relaxes me, I like to light a candle and I love its discreet scent.

We aren't all the same, so my candles won't suit everyone, but there are always those people who order my products, and that's enough for me to know that I'm doing something good, at least to some extent,'' added Anja Cancar.

As we've already mentioned, there's now a registered trade behind Anja's work. It took her two months from the first attempt to take that step, and she considers the decision to be the biggest challenge she has ever faced. However, she didn't think she was wrong in doing so, and having everything in black and white was her guiding thought.

“I’ve been in business for a full year now, I started making candles in 2020, back in February, and they first appeared on Instagram in April. I don't count the number of candles I've made anymore. I’m glad when someone calls and orders a candle, or when one of my friends tells me how their parents liked the candles and that they light them often. Then all the numbers are irrelevant because I'm glad that someone knows where those candles come from,'' Anja noted.

According to Anja Cancar, the costs of opening a business were minimal, and it was necessary to register with the State Administration Office and then open a business account.

Her focus, however, remains firmly on perfecting the production itself, and the fragrances she first created are the Mediterranean with lavender and rosemary, Amber enriched with ylang-ylang and lemon extracts, and Robust with rose and sandalwood.

For this young entrepreneur, candles are a departure from a somewhat grim and boring reality at the moment as the pandemic rages on.

For more stories like Anja's, follow Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Somersby's "Koprivnica Cider" Finds Itself in EU, Tahiti, Greenland...

March the 20th, 2021 - One popular cider brand, known here as the "Koprivnica cider" is putting this otherwise typically overlooked continental Croatian town on the map. If you're a cider lover and enjoying a refreshing glass of it over ice during the warm summer months is your thing, then you might want to pay attention.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, Koprivnica, a continental Croatian town known for the Podravka brand and its numerous beloved products, might just gain more recognition from no less than the popular Somersby cider brand.

The product behind that name refers to the range of cider, a drink that has always been very popular in Northern Europe, and has since gained traction here in Croatia, and the production of which was started by the Danish beer company Carlsberg in its factory in Koprivnica around a decade ago.

Somersby is made there for the whole world, and only last year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, a total of 867 trucks full of bottles of different flavours of this wildly popular cider were sent to about twenty markets from the Carlsberg Croatia plant in Podravina, with another 200 tanks with this drink intended for tapping.

That nicknamed "Koprivnica cider" ended up in Tahiti, the Bahamas, Bermuda, but also Greenland, China, Congo, the USA, not to mention the EU markets, from Austria to Germany. These figures were announced recently at the factory by the President of the Management Board of Carlsberg Croatia, Marcin Burdach.

“Despite all of the challenges that the year 2020 brought with it, we're very pleased with how it ended. Every year we record growth, including last year when exports to Germany and Hungary increased. Otherwise, Somersby production in Croatia started back in 2011. Initially, there were only three Carlsberg factories in the entire world that were producing Somersby cider, of which the Koprivnica plant was the first to start fermenting wine," said Burdach, without giving any specific data on the company's business results.

Here in Croatia, this cider is made in ten different flavours, including kosher apples, intended for the stricter Israeli market. Carlsberg Croatia also produces already renowned beer brands such as the much loved Pan in its various ways, as well as Tuborg and Carlsberg, which are originally Danish labels, and the company is also a significant employer, as it employs about 300 people in an otherwise fairly neglected part of the country.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Museum of Illusions Becomes World's Largest Chain of Private Museums

February 10, 2021 - Museum of Illusions has become the largest chain of private museums in the world! 

HRTurizam writes that today is another historic day for Croatian tourism and Croatia in general.

Namely, the Museum of Illusions opened its 30th franchise, this time in New Delhi, and thus became the largest chain of private museums in the world.

Europe is still closed, while the American and global markets are slowly opening up and becoming more active, points out Roko Živković of the Museum of Illusions.

“The partners we work with throughout the project have continued to build new museums. Europe is all closed, and this is where the expansion of the franchise cares most about the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the American market is very active, and soon, through the franchise model, the Museum of Illusions will open in Miami, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Washington, as well as in Cairo and in the capital of Saudi Arabia - Riyadh," says Zivkovic, and concludes how happy they are that in this crisis, the franchise is expanding and developing all over the world, especially because people from Croatia are working on the project.

Interestingly, Roko Živković and his business partner Tomislav Pamuković got the idea for the Museum of Illusions by watching the popular BrainGames series on National Geographic. Six years after the first museum in Zagreb in 2015, today, the Museum of Illusions has become the world's largest chain of private museums.

"Museum of Illusions offers interactive, immersive, and fun experiences for children, parents, couples, grandmothers, and grandfathers – a perfect, unusual, and exciting place for all generations. Amusing and awesome tricks will teach you about vision, perception, the human brain, and science, so it will be easier to perceive why your eyes see things which your brain cannot understand," reads the Museum of Illusions website.

It is important to emphasize that this is a Croatian tourist export product, which includes a Croatian team, and all exhibits are more or less produced in Croatia.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Croatian Company Infobip Helps Allied Banks, WhatsApp in Mutual Cooperation

January the 27th, 2021 - The Croatian company Infobip has had some incredible achievements to boast of over time. From humble beginnings to being recognised and respected across the world, this Croatian enterprise has worked with some huge names. It seems that trend is set to continue.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the largest Pakistani bank, Allied Bank, has included WhatsApp communication with users in its business, and the Croatian company Infobip will help in its implementation and making sure it performs to the best level possible.

Through this new cooperation, the Croatian company Infobip will additionally position itself as one of the global leaders, and Allied Bank will get an excellent solution in terms of cloud communication, availability and satisfaction of many users, the companies claim, as was reported by ICT Business.

More specifically, the Bank of Pakistan wants to strengthen its overall digital presence and offer for its universal banking users in a way that would meet their expectations. Of course, in order to achieve something like this, it is necessary that these services and digital presence be in line with what is required and expected today in terms of the connection between the organisation and its end users.

In this case, something like this is set to be achieved through the wildly popular WhatsApp channel, which means that it is necessary to enable a chatbot that will be at the service of users in every sense.

For example, if an end user is interested in their account balance, the specific details of a particular transaction, the benefits that the bank offers and information about the branch or ATM in its vicinity, the chatbot will have to be up to standard and completely accurate, but also fast, which the Croatian compan Infobip will have no issue in providing.

In addition, the interaction itself must be simple, so that users immediately understand all the benefits of WhatsApp communication with Allied Bank.

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Croatian Koncar Group Cites 2020's Difficulties, Expects Growth in 2021

January the 25th, 2021 - The Croatian Koncar Group wasn't immune to the seemingly endless woes of 2020, but the large company still expects growth this year with the advent of the vaccine and the potential for some form of business and economic normalisation.

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes, the Croatian Koncar Group has proven to be resilient to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and even expects revenue growth of ten percent this year, as was announced yesterday by the President of the Management Board of the Croatian Koncar Group, Gordan Kolak.

''The source of growth, first of all, we see in the beginning of the procurement of the HZ Passenger Transport (Putnicki prijevoz) trains, but we still see foreign markets, primarily Germany, Sweden and Austria, as primary in terms of the placement of our goods and services,'' stated the head of the Croatian Koncar Group, which consists of fourteen companies within the wider group and a joint venture with Siemens, as well as around 3,500 employees. Their annual revenue stands at an impressive three billion kuna, of which exports make up sixty percent.

When it comes to one of the company's most significant current export ventures, the sale of trams to the Latvian city of Liepaja, Gordan Kolak indicated that twelve of the contracted trams will be delivered to Latvia this year and next year.

Referring to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic on the Croatian Koncar Group's overall operations, Kolak stated that it is mostly reflected in the difficult access to new foreign markets, but, he also warned, it also lies in creating a new approach in markets where the Croatian Koncar Group is already present. The report on Koncar's operations throughout the pandemic-dominated year of 2020, announced Kolak, will not be presented before first being published on the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

''In any case, we had revenue growth last year, but at the moment I can't talk about the scale of that growth. The general situation on the global market is favourable for our company,'' he concluded.

This year, the Croatian Koncar Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary of doing business, and as one of the interesting things related to the jubilee, Kolak stated that Dragutin Pusic from Koncar, who designed the first logo of the company, will also celebrate his very own hundredth birthday.

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