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.

Thursday, 18 August 2022

Rain in Neretva Valley Provides Relief for Fields, Local Produce Growers

August the 18th, 2022 - Rain has finally graced the Neretva Valley down in southern Dalmatia, providing farmers, produce growers and of course the many fields some much needed relief. The area's fields had been without a drop of rain for too long, and there was a real threat to their yield.

As Morski writes, after several months of drought, heavy rain fell on Tuesday in the south of the country and in the Neretva Valley. This particularly pleased the farmers in the area, where this year only about 15 percent of the annual average precipitation has fallen, an event the oldest residents can't remember having happened before. These more abundant rains will now significantly improve the situation in the production of all agricultural crops, especially tangerines, whose harvest is expected to begin in a month.

After a dry period, rainy refreshment in the Neretva Valley saw local producers breathe a sigh of relief. For the mandarins growing there, and for which the Neretvs Valley is famous, this is a last-minute salvation.

''The situation has never been like this, as far as I can tell, and I've been doing this my whole life. In these six, seven months, not much rain fell, only about 140 litres in total, and the annual average is somewhere around 1,200 litres,'' said Branko Popic, an observer of the Opuzen agrometeorological station.

The farmers of the Neretva Valley watered the mandarins during the severe drought, and in this way they managed to successfully prevent more serious consequences from occurring. But due to the salinity of the water in this area, today's sudden rain is still a better option than anything artificial could ever be.

''This is precious rain for all of the mandarins here, for the vineyards, and for the olives in the marginal areas of the Neretva Valley,'' explained agronomist Robert Doko.

During these days, plots were being prepared in the Neretva Valley for the planting of strawberries and cabbage, and the land had been without rain for too long. ''It was so dry that it was the same as if we were working in the Sahara, not in the Neretva Valley. This rain will mean a lot to us for the next planting that we have scheduled for next week,'' announced Jurica Kapovic from Opuzen.

Local olives also felt the negative consequences of the harsh drought, especially those that grow in the hilly part of the Neretva Valley. Farmer Zivko Mustapic grows about 650 of them on an area spanning ​​about three and a half hectares.

''We'd reached a critical situation, the fruit has already started to fall down. Although I do add a bit of water, it's only like an infusion for them, just to keep them going,'' pointed out Mustapic.

Although only ten litres of rain fell per square metre in the Slivno area, it is expected to improve the development of the olive trees, at least for a while, because the fruit isn't yet what it should be. Neretva Valley locals are still wishing for more precipitation to fall, because the mandarin harvest is expected in one month.

''During that period, even if this amount of rain fell again, it would be ideal for the mandarins and usually would be for cabbages too, they'd need to be watered less,'' said Kapovic.

It was exactly this kind of rain which suited everyone, because they fear the hail that usually comes after a drought. So far, as Neretva Valley producers say, they are happy that at least that threat has bypassed them, as reported by HRT.

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

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Neretva River Mouth Again an Attraction for Ornithologists and Bird Watchers

June 18, 2022 - The Neretva River mouth remains one of the best destinations for bird watching in Croatia, though it's hardly being promoted as such. 

To the great surprise of ornithologists and nature lovers in the Parila lagoon, a great white pelican nestling (Pelecanus onocrotalus) appeared three years ago. It is a bird species that was presumed to have become extinct in the entire Republic of Croatia in the 1950s due to uncontrolled hunting and fishing and the reclamation of wetlands, which damaged ornithological habitats. However, pelicans have appeared at the mouth of the Neretva for the last five years, once again becoming a bird's paradise. Thus, several species of wetland birds were observed, with various ducks, grebes, herons, and spoonbills, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

Mediterranean wetlands are globally known for the exceptional diversity and richness of the bird world. Unfortunately, due to over-intensive hunting and carelessness, the Neretva Valley has fallen from the list of the most famous and richest Mediterranean wetlands, such as the Camargue in France, Donana in Spain, and several lagoons in Italy, Turkey, and Tunisia.

"Despite all the problems - reed fires, invasive species such as mongooses, poaching, river flow regulation (hydropower and sewerage), reduction of freshwater inflows (interventions in BiH), illegal land reclamation, etc., the Neretva Delta remains one of the best destinations for bird watching in Croatia. In the Neretva valley, you can see the partridge, Western black-eared wheatear, or the barn owl.

Due to its large reed beds, the Neretva is a vital nesting ground for Eurasian bitterns and Porzana species. In addition, the sandy lagoons at the mouth of the Neretva are alive all year round. More than 300 recorded bird species for such a small area is an impressive number and has the potential to attract tourists throughout the year," says Iva Rajković Alendar from the association "Biom."

However, in the field, the changes are noticeable for the better regarding the bird world. Changes happen slowly, but importantly, they do happen. One of the positive changes is new reserves.

"The Special ornithological reserve "Blue Eye and Lake Desna," Special ornithological-ichthyological reserve "Neretva estuary," and Special ornithological reserve "Kuti. It is now important that real protection is established in the existing reserves and that the reserves remain on paper. What does not improve the situation is, for example, fires. This year, almost the entire "Pod Gredom" and "Prud" reserves near Metković burned down again. This is a great disaster for birds that depend on the layers of old reeds and because of which the reserves were established," says Iva.

And while ornithologists are struggling with fires, fortunately, the number of poachers has been reduced. However, the prevailing opinion in the Neretva is that swamps are set on fire by hunters to secure hunting plans. Local hunting associations have repeatedly denied this.

"What can certainly be noticed is the reduced number of poachers. For example, when we started highlighting the problem in 2017, in the Neretva delta for decades in, say, December on Parila, in the Neretva Channel, and the Galičak Bay located in Ušće, you could see 11 to 15 people hunting continuously from 8 pm to sometimes 11 in the morning.

Today it is two to three people. But the number of shots remains worrying. On average, there are 150 shots fired in one night on Lake Parila in the "Neretva Estuary" reserve, and poaching takes place almost every night when there is no rain. There are changes in the reserves "Prud" and "Pod Gredom" near Metković. The number of illegal plans is much smaller, but there are still shootings in the reserves, but invitations are heard less often, which is positive.

But while there is a high demand for the meat of one wild bird, the viability of any shift in the fight against poaching is questionable. On the Neretva, we conducted a socio-economic analysis through which we found that 56 percent of respondents consume coot. Furthermore, 29 percent of respondents consume it regularly. Coot is eaten when hanging out with friends and family or during important holidays. When you visit, there must be a coot on the table in some places. Demand for game meat creates a relatively large market that is satisfied by birds from illegal hunting."

Despite everything, new bird species are coming to the Neretva.

"The Neretva Delta is special in terms of the bird world. Species rare in other parts of Croatia are common migratory or wintering species. There are numerous ducks, sandpipers, jays, sterninae, pied avocet, and oystercatchers. The Neretva is also on the edge of the range of some completely southern species, such as the olive-tree warbler. The local association "Brkata sjenica" from the Neretva recorded a Eurasian stone-curlew, which is important because the Croatian population is endangered.

All in all, our goal is not to attract new species, but it is important to preserve the habitats for those that are already coming. And then protect them while they are there," believes Iva Rajković Alendar. Furthermore, given the rich bird world, the Neretva delta has great potential for the development of birdwatching, which is reserved for guests of deeper pockets.

It should not be forgotten that the Neretva Valley is very close to Dubrovnik, whose most numerous visitors are British tourists - the most dedicated bird watchers worldwide. Most of them pass through the Neretva Valley during a trip to Mostar. On the Neretva, birds can be observed throughout the year, and bird watching is one of the branches of tourism that can take place throughout the year. However, the creation of a tourist product and its promotion on the market is yet to take place in the Neretva Valley. Instead of realizing this, it has been debated for years whether the Neretva, with its bird wealth, is an area suitable for bird watching.

What should be done to make birdwatching come to life in the Neretva Valley?

"It must be accepted and promoted by the inhabitants of the Neretva Valley, and it is vital to take care of, i.e., raise awareness about the preservation of this valuable resource in the local community. In addition, the area should be promoted at events like BirdFair in England and other fairs. BirdFair is one huge fair dedicated to bird watching.

Various events can be organized at the state level to actively promote the Neretva Valley as a paradise for bird watchers. For example, the Association "Brkata sjenica" is actively working on the development of bird watching in Croatia. Since 2016, they have organized more than ten bird recognition trainings and broadened the community of fellow citizens who also come as tourists to the Neretva delta to observe birds.

There are many similar examples in the world. The best, of course, are the numerous English reserves managed by NGOs such as the Wetland & Wildfowl Trust or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). In our immediate neighborhood, we can cite the example of Škocjan Bay in Slovenia, where a compromise was found between preserving coastal wetlands and seaports. As a result, Škocjan Bay, with its good infrastructure, has become a prevalent location for bird watching. This is the case in Slovenia, and further south in Montenegro, Albania, and even in our country; it is still necessary to explain why it is crucial to preserve biodiversity and how it is a vital resource."

For more, 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.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Charamanga Hot Sauce Combines Flavors of Neretva Valley and Mediterranean

September 17, 2021 - Charamanga hot sauce is a 100% Neretva Valley product created by Mijo Micheta Ćelić.

The Croatian hot sauce scene is getting richer and more diverse. Mijo Micheta Ćelić, a professor of cooking at Metković High School and the creative mind behind the line of hot sauces called Charamanga, has also joined this chili-loving crowd, reports Like Metković.

On his family estate in Duvrat, Ćelić grows Cayenne pepper, Jamaican hot yellow, Habanero, Fed mushroom, and the hottest among them Carolina red reaper and tabasco pepper, which are added to hot sauces.

It all started exactly three years ago when, as part of his family farm, he planted various types of hot peppers on agricultural land behind the family kitchen. However, he was only attempting to standardize his sauce for Neretva brudet, which failed and still remains a challenge. He worked at the Hotel Saudade Gradac 5-6 years ago, where the name, Charamanga, came to life. 

"One day, chef Barba came and said ‘Give me Mijo’s charamanga!’, When asked what it was, he just replied ‘Oh, that’s the spicy stuff Mijo is mixing,’ he recalls of its beginnings.

A six-year culinary experience on cruise ships also had a significant influence on Mijo's creativity:

"I've seen the world, got to know different cuisines, and when it comes to spices, Thai is somehow the closest thing to me. Still, I want to give each of my sauces something homemade, guided by the flavors that are familiar to the palates of our people, but in a new format," he said. 

"My angel, right hand, and great support is Marija Cindrić, who is responsible for the visual identity and branding of products and for social media marketing. At the very beginning, the world of hot sauces in our area was opened by 'Juta Spiza' from Split. Today I work closely with 'Slavonsko Zlo'," says Mijo and lists the places where his hot sauces are served: Mama Mia and Industry Pub in Metković, Beach House in Blace, Oliva, Piazza Bistro & Cafe, and Žminac in Ploče, Morenia in Brist, Papar Grill in Makarska, Štikovica, Saint Blaise in Dubrovnik, Demežana in Cavtat, Kai in Zagreb.

Interestingly, Charamanga hot sauces have also reached distant destinations in Japan and the Philippines, thanks to the chefs Mijo has collaborated with.

Each Charamanga sauce is named after a chef Mijo has worked with. So far, he has launched eight types, is preparing two more sauces (Divlji and John) and two dry spices. 

Bajto - habanero hot pepper / liquid smoke/fennel seeds/carrots / homemade wine vinegar/sugar; herbs: heather, lemon balm, sage, mint, rosemary, basil
Barba - hot cayenne pepper/honey/tomato; herbs: basil and oregano. It is recommended with all types of pizza, bolognese pasta, and other Italian dishes.
Dotur - habanero hot pepper/fig/cherry / homemade wine vinegar; herbs: heather, lemon balm, sage, mint rosemary. A universal spice that is most domesticated in grilled dishes
Gigec - Jamaican hot yellow pepper/mandarin/cinnamon/star anise. Indigenous representative of Neretva gastronomy

Ku-ma - Habanero / cayenne pepper / mushroom pepper / roasted horn pepper / plum / mint. The hottest Charamanga sauce
Lipa Kate (Aceto balsamico) - vinegar / fig / sugar / cherry. It is recommended as an addition to salads and stews, dedicated
Micheta - habanero chili pepper/salt/honey / homemade wine vinegar; herbs: rosemary, sage, heather, lemon balm, mint, thyme, basil. The first Charamanga sauce and the only one that is not fermented
Pa-jo - kumquat / wine / vinegar / mallow / mint / sugar / salt. The fermentation of kumquat achieved a special sour-spicy note. Pairing with blue fish is recommended. Ideal for marinated fish and sardine carpaccio
Giovanni dry spice - an addition to dishes and cooking. It contains mountain herbs such as sage, calluna, and thyme, as well as home-grown herbs such as lemon balm, mint, rosemary 
Rodijak dry spice - an addition to dishes and cooking. A mixture of paprika and salt, a great addition to broths.

Mijo has suggested one recipe for each which you can find on the official website.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Croatian Watermelon Producers Hampered by Imported Fruit

August the 17th, 2021 - Croatian watermelons are enormous, delicious and very fairly priced. Eating one on a hot day listening to the calm laps of the Adriatic and the songs of the crickets is priceless, but Croatian watermelon producers don't have it easy, despite the popularity of what they grow and sell.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian watermelon consumption is the same as beer consumption - people consume more when the thermometer is at its absolute maximum and there's little else one can physically manage in that heat than sitting and eating and drinking. Neretva fruit growers claim that their watermelon was bought for 1.20 kuna until a week ago, and then the demand stopped rather abruptly.

If they didn't take care of the sale of the much loved Croatian watermelon on famous southern Dalmatian roadside stands and on the markets, many failed to even sell even a kilogram because overripe Italian watermelon arrived on the Croatian market, sold next to the home-grown sweet ones, which were additionally sweetened by drought, Vecernji list has learned from fruit grower Neven Mataga from Opuzen.

"It's a total disaster. It's unfortunate that there are so many tourists in Croatia, and yet we have nowhere to sell the Croatian watermelon. My heart aches when I see how many are still sitting out there in the field. We grow them, harvest them, put them in containers, and the traders just take them away and charge three times more than we spent on them. Now even that won't happen either.

I believe that this is nothing but a targeted action to destroy Croatian watermelon production. You're so exhausted by it all that you can no longer work and you just give up,'' explained the indignant Mataga, adding that traders aren't interested "in fruit under six and over 12 kilograms'' and that they're looking for a special weight.

In the retail chains many have visited, the Croatian food section is becoming more and more difficult to find, especially if it is known that the year for fruits and vegetables was generally bad, and not only in Croatia.

Certain fruits, such as raspberries and blackberries are primarily Croatia, while grapes are typically coming in from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy, apples are coming in from Slovenia, lemons are coming all the way from Argentina, the peaches and pears are from Spain, the nectarines are from Italy and Turkey, and the plums are from Moldova.

For more, follow our business section.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

No Beach, No Problem: Rogotin Tourism Booming in Neretva Valley

August 14, 2021 - Rogotin tourism is booming in the Neretva Valley, and this is even without a city beach! 

Many wonder how Rogotin, a small town in the Neretva Valley's northwest, a few kilometers away from the city center, is leading tourism in the Ploče area. And this is with more famous tourist destinations around and despite the limited number of accommodation facilities and classic tourist facilities, including a beach.

In addition, Rogotin locals have only recently been involved in tourism, so they also lack experience, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Despite everything, according to the data of the Ploče Tourist Board, in the first six months of this year, compared to the same period of the extremely successful 2019, it was in Rogotin that the largest number and increase in overnight stays were achieved. In the first half of the year, 2349 overnight stays were realized, increasing almost 37 percent compared to the first six months of 2019 (1716)! Baćina recorded an increase of about ten percent (1455 vs. 1324), and Staševica 36 percent (129 compared to 95). In other settlements in the city area, there was a decrease in overnight stays compared to the year before last. Among the guests, most are locals, followed by Germans, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, citizens of BiH, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Austria.

Guests find Rogotin to have a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere, beautiful landscape and is close to famous tourist destinations.

Spouses Larry and Jamie from San Diego, California, traveled to Denmark and Portugal, and before their final destination in Greece, they stayed in Rogotin for three days. They were thrilled by the world attraction of wind turbines on the Trovro hill and the view of the Neretva Valley, and enjoyed a four-kilometer-long boat ride on the canal that connects Lake Vlaška, one of the symbols of Rogotin, with the Adriatic Sea. 

The Pranjić family, Sandra, Mario, and daughter Ida, are from Zagreb, but their life circumstances took them to Oslo, Norway. First, however, they set aside three days for Rogotin. It is a quiet base from which they get to know everything they are interested in in the lower Neretva, from the mouth of the river to Opuzen, and special attention is drawn to the Pelješac bridge.

For the first time, a young family of four, Valentina, Marian, Patrik, and Liliana Kuchtova arrived in Rogotin from Poprad, Slovakia. They said they don’t like crowds and noise and looked for a quiet and peaceful place to rest. When it comes to Croatia, so far, they have been to Dubrovnik, Split, Makarska, and Podgora, and they got to know Biokovo. They pointed out that they had found everything they needed for a holiday in Rogotin, and they had already arranged next summer's trip with their kind hosts, who surprised them with gifts.

Marin Glamuzina, the mayor of Rogotin, is not satisfied with the attitude of the current city government, and his opinion is shared by the majority of Rogotin residents. Despite the promises and the fact that a beach is planned in the Ploče budget, this project has not been realized. When the number of tourist visits to Rogotin is growing significantly, this issue is becoming key to the further development of tourism.

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

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Neretva Fruit Growers Breathe Sigh of Relief as Third of Produce Has Buyer

As Novac writes on the 7th of October, 2020, ENNA Fruit, a new player in the Neretva Valley fruit and vegetable purchase market, created by the recapitalisation of Marinada, intends to buy about a third of the entire mandarin crop in the Neretva Valley this year, triggering a sigh of relief from the Neretva fruit growers.

As the head of the purchase centre, Dragan Crnomarkovic, revealed, they plan to buy about 10,500 tonnes of mandarins. It is estimated that this year, the yield of the Neretva fruit growers is about 32,000 tonnes in total. This redemption centre started with a price of four kuna for the first and 2.5 for the second class of mandarins. After just one week, the price was adjusted to 3.5 kuna for the first class, while the second class remained at 2.5 kuna.

"The average price shouldn't be bad because the yield is lower than average, and the quality is excellent. There's no reason for a sudden and large drop in prices because there will be demand for Neretva mandarins on the market," Crnomarkovic told Slobodna Dalmacija.

ENNA Fruit buys from more than 380 Neretva fruit growers, more specifically mandarin producers, of which only five have a yield of more than 100 tonnes. The fragmentation of plots is one of the bigger problems. "We suggest producers to gather in associations and producer organisations. Then it would be easier for them and also for us. They could protect their interests, and it would be much easier for us to work and communicate. It would be easier to plan delivery dynamics, prices, and ultimately negotiate and about the delivery of raw materials,'' Crnomarkovic explained.

Export potential

The first quantities of purchased early varieties of mandarins from ENNA Fruit were placed out in the usual environment. The strategic buyer is Konzum, and they also sold them to Mercator Slovenia and Mercator Serbia. "This week, foreign markets are opening outside of our region, the most represented of which is the Czech and then the Slovak market. We're the only company that sells mandarins in more distant markets such as the British, Irish and Dutch markets. We also sell something in Austria. There's export potential, but we must have good quality and good organisation,'' stated Crnomarkovic.

He also revealed that Spanish mandarin producers are less competitive in high-tariff and regulated markets than in unregulated, price-sensitive markets. ''Our small volumes don't endanger them on markets where they're heavily represented, and they're the most prevalent on the British and German markets,” he noted.

ENNA Fruit cannot, according to Crnomarkovic, function only in the purchase of mandarins. Mandarins, he says, are the backbone of business and without it nothing would be worth doing. But they are a significant buyer of other produce of Neretva fruit growers, such as watermelon and strawberries. Leaving fruit aside, they're also fond of cabbage, greenhouse greens such as lettuce and chard, cucumbers, peppers...

"Apart from watermelon, which we buy about 2000 tonnes and, of course, mandarins, other production in the Neretva Valley has fallen sharply. The merging and direct cooperation of these associations with distribution centres could result in the production of fresh fruit and vegetables in the Neretva Valley returning to their former levels, but without the association and organisation of producers this goal is difficult to achieve.

Joint promotion

''The label of authenticity, which was given to the Neretva mandarin, unfortunately, hasn't provided it with any progress. In order to have an effect, we must organise ourselves at all levels and jointly promote the Neretva mandarin. That way, we could achieve a higher price on the foreign market,'' said Crnomarkovic.

ENNA Fruit, he says, is now a very potent company on the market. "Liquidity has significantly improved. The payment deadline is 30 days. We have an excellent buying and selling network, both in Croatia and in the market of the region, and we're positioning ourselves better when it comes to exports," Crnomarkovic concluded.

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Thursday, 1 October 2020

Neretva Valley Expecting Good Harvest Season Despite Coronavirus Crisis

October the 1st, 2020 - It's rare to read anything about the coronavirus pandemic bringing positive results to anyone or anything, but it does happen, and not only to companies who make masks. The Neretva Valley, famous for its abundance of fruit which can be seen sold all over the country on stands and in various stories in the colder months, has done very well indeed and is expecting a great harvest season this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of September, 2020, mandarin oranges are the only Croatian export fruit, whose harvest officially begins during the last days of September as autumn overtakes summer. While the Neretva Valley's fruit growers are anxiously awaiting the harvest season, which will take place under unprecedented epidemiological conditions, it seems that the coronavirus could actually go hand in hand with them as opposed to against them, as has been the case with just about every other field imaginable.

Namely, higher demand is expected for the Neretva Valley's fruit, as it is packed full of vitamin C, which is traditionally used to strengthen immunity and remain healthy, writes Slobodna Dalmacija. As such, the Neretva Valley's many fruit growers hope to be able to sell their mandarin oranges just as well, if not better, than in previous years.

However, in Croatia, it has been proven time and time again that nothing is ever particularly certain when it comes to agriculture, because every year imports destroy domestic production during the traditional season of harvesting homegrown fruit and vegetables. Owing to that, it’s hard to assume that in the case of the Neretva Valley's mandarin oranges, the scenario from May will be repeated, when domestic strawberry growers sold their strawberries and still made good money because there were no imports due to the coronavirus and the restrictions that came as a result of it.

Initial estimates show that the Neretva Valley growers will have a production of about 32,000 tonnes of mandarin oranges this season, which is a mediocre crop, but good quality is expected regardless.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

Six of the Best! Croatian Protected Produce On Sale in China

September 18, 2020 – Six items of Croatian protected produce are among the 100 European items to go on sale in China

Six items of Croatian protected produce are among the 100 European items to go on sale in China. In a reciprocal deal, 100 Chinese products will also be recognised and recommended on the European market.

34933c5e0f633c5d1e4f45c5b0cd6dc9_XL.jpgDalmatian prosciutto © TZ Vrgorac

Baranja kulen, Dalmatian prosciutto, Drniš prosciutto, Lika potatoes, Dingač wine and Neretva mandarins are the premium six Croatian protected produce chosen to be among the European 100. All of the Croatian protected produce is already recognised at a national and at an EU-level and designated its status based on its unique place of origin.

Dingač.jpgDingač wine © Silverije

339ed3435d099dd0a91c267af376e8f0_XL.jpgNeretva Mandarins

The European products will be specially marked and receive special privileges when they go on sale in China. Alongside the Croatian protected produce, other items on the European list are French champagne, Greek feta cheese, Italian Parma prosciutto, Italian mozzarella, Irish whiskey and Portuguese port. On the Chinese list of products are distinct varieties of rice, bean and vegetable products, some of which will already be popular with Europeans who eat or cook Chinese cuisine.

_DSC5737_DxO.jpgDrniš prosciutto © Tourist Board of Drniš

The full list of Croatian produce protected at an EU-level currently includes Istrian olive oil, Dalmatian prosciutto, Pag cheese, Lika lamb, Poljički Soparnik, Zagorje turkey, Korčula olive oil, Istrian prosciutto, Sour cabbage from Ogulin, Neretva mandarins, Slavonian honey, Drniš prosciutto, Cres olive oil, Pag salt, Baranja kulen, Bjelovarski kvargl, Varaždin cabbage, Pag lamb, Šolta olive oil, Meso 'z tiblice, Zagorje mlinci, Krk prosciutto, Lika potatoes, Slavonian kulen, Krk olive oil.

MK4_5082.jpegBaranja kulen, featured within a traditional Slavonian platter © Romulić & Stojčić

b9def02b6d20f4f0adb6e889f99af491_XL.jpgLika Potatoes

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