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Ante Todorić participant of the “Buy Croatian – Croatian product for Croatian tourism” fair and panel

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A contract for the supply of fruits and vegetables was signed between VELPRO centar, Agrofructus and Maistra

 

A Fair named “Buy Croatian – Croatian product for Croatian tourism”, organized by the Croatian chamber of economy, was held in Poreč with more than a hundred most eminent Croatian production companies and leaders in tourist industry as participants. One of the key subjects of the Fair was how to better connect small domestic producers with Croatian tourism and Ante Todorić, Deputy president of Agrokor gave a statement on this subject: “Croatian product for Croatian tourism is an initiative that Agrokor lives by. Agrokor produces a billion euros per year worth of goods and we see great potential in tourism where we can compete with both price and quality.”

Two round tables were held. The participants of the first round table “Croatian product for Croatian tourism” along with Luka Burilović, President of the Croatian chamber of economy, Minister of Tourism Anton Kliman and Minister of Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat were also Željko Pravdić, assistant to Minister of Economy, Tugomir Majdak, deputy to Minister of Agriculture, Martina Jus member of the management board of HBOR (Croatian bank for Reconstruction and Development), Zrinka Bokulić President of Management board of Novigrad’s Laguna hotel and Ivana Budin Arhanić, vice president of Valamar Riviera. The panelists discussed what are the best ways to achieve synergies between tourism and other industries, how business people can obtain financial funds and how to, with help from tourism, increase the competitiveness of the entire Croatian economy. They pointed out that tourists recognize and highly appreciate Croatian products and that it is necessary to make the producers more aware that tourism is an excellent channel to place their products. “Our cooperation with all hotels is exceptional and I would especially like to emphasize our cooperation with companies from Poreč Valamar Riviera and Plava Laguna. The potential in tourism is enormous. In the upcoming twenty years we could increase revenue from tourism to between 50 and 100 billion €. Also, 80 percent of products sold through our retail chain Konzum are of Croatian origin”, concluded Ante Todorić.

At the second round table, Josip Zaher, vice president of Croatian chamber of economy for tourism, trade and finance, Dražen Kocijan, managing director of Velpro Centar, Denis Matijević, president of the Management Board of Agrofructus Group, Goran Markulin, managing director of Cromaris, Đuro Horvat, director of University college Effectus, Tullio Fernetich, owner of San Rocco hotel, Orijana Radić, director of procurement in Liburnia Riviera hotels, Stjepan Basar, member of the Management board of Aquaestil plus and Josip Budimir, member of the Management board of Franck, discussed the how a domestic product can become the key to recognition in Croatian tourism. All panelists agreed that the interest that hotels have for domestic products is high but that they often run into problems with insufficient supply and non-standardized quality. They have agreed that one of the solutions is for small producers to form associations that can work together to meet the standards of quality and produce quantities needed by large hotel chains. Quality domestic products are an added value to Croatian tourism that keeps existing guests and attracts new ones and no hotel chain or a serious tourism company will regret to pay the higher price if they receive quality in return.

At the Fair opening an agreement was signed between VELPRO centar, Maistra hotel chain and Agrofructus company. The agreement was signed by Dražen Kocijan, managing director of VELPRO, Denis Matijević, CEO of Agrofructus Group and Tomislav Popović, CEO of Maistra.

Agrofructus represents about a thousand small producers across Croatia and will supply fresh fruit and vegetables, using widespread Velpro distribution channels, to Maistra’s hotels and tourist compounds and in this way the great potential of Croatian tourism will be made available to small domestic producers. It is estimated that through this cooperation Croatian tourism will be supplied with 1.000 t of fruits and vegetables per year.