Conference Focuses on Food Safety in Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 28, 2019 – Croatia has to have an excellent food safety system, promote the highest veterinary and health standards and be part of the European Food Safety Authority, primarily to protect domestic products and it is a fact that food is an important part of the tourism industry, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) vice president, Dragan Kovačević, said at the start of the 13th food safety conference organised by HGK in Opatija.

The two-day conference is dedicated to reorganising the food safety system in Croatia, food fraud, labelling country of origin, fake news, pesticides in food, extended use by date and other topics.

Kovačević said that since its admission to the EU in 2013, Croatia’s trade deficit in agricultural and food products has increased from 740 million euro to 1 billion, with Croatia’s food imports totalling 3 billion and exports 2 billion euro.

Kovačević warned that in terms of the amount of imported food, meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable products topped the ranking, which indicated a poor agricultural structure, and added that Croatia’s productivity is below 50% of the EU average.

On the other hand, it is encouraging that Croatia has now curbed the increase of that trade deficit, he said.

In the first few months of 2019, food exports increased at a greater rate than imports and the biggest export increase has been achieved on the most demanding EU markets.

State Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, Tugomir Majdak, said that one of the most important activities by the ministry was to secure self-sufficiency of food produced by Croatia’s farmers, particularly cattle farmers and that it wants to support the export of domestic quality products to foreign markets.

Croatia has protected 22 of its products with EU quality labels so far, said Majdak and announced the ministry was working on a plan to reduce food waste.

Health and Consumers Directorate General Ghislain Marechal spoke about food fraud in the EU saying that this has several negative effects because it is harmful to consumers’ health and that their trust in authorities is thus affected.

In most cases food is incorrectly labelled, it is diluted and often include banned additives, he said. The system isn’t especially designed to prevent fraud and so it is necessary to avert perpetrators, he added.

Marechal is of the opinion that imports from countries that are not in the EU, cause additional problems because they have different food safety laws.

Marechal said that food fraud is not taken to be a priority and often police in the field are not sufficiently trained to recognise food fraud.

More news about food in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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