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.
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