Up for some apple picking?
As Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of September, 2018, an unusual but welcome advertisement was recently placed on Facebook by Sven Dorotić, a fruit grower from the small village of Brežane Lekeničke, located in Sisak-Moslavina County, who wants to encourage people to come and pick home-grown apples themselves, as well as use such an approach to potentially open up a new sales channel.
Sven, with all types of apples growing in his large orchard, has invited the public to come and pick them themselves, as many as they want, for a price of between just one and three kuna depending on the type of apple taken.
“Unfortunately, we’ve got a workforce problem so we’ve not been able to find people for harvesting, and what’s worse, wholesalers are offering ridiculously low prices for apples. I decided to start advertising and encourage people who want to come and pick their own apples and get them for a really low price too. Our orchard stretches 3.5 hectares, it’s 38 kilometres from Zagreb and 25 kilometres from Sisak, and I believe it will encourage people to come and be provided with with healthy, good quality apples,” says Sven Dorotić.
Sven says that this year, the apple harvest will be extremely good, and he expects to have about 120 tons of them. Over the last two years, however, because of unfavourable weather conditions, things haven’t been so good.
“This year’s been good, but the domestic market is being overwhelmed with last year’s imported apples, which ruin their purchase price,” Dorotić explained, adding that the method he is advertising online is a direct doorstep sale and therefore everything is legal and by the book.
“My wish is to welcome people who are ready to enjoy themselves in nature, to pick [apples] for themselves, as many as they want and how much they think they’ll need, and when they’re finished, we put them on the scales, and sell them at a price of between one to three kuna, depending on what sort of apple they want. My plan is to expand [my business] this kind of way, so, if possible, I can connect with tourist agencies who can and will want to organise excursions for retirees, citizens and for children from elementary and high schools for whom apple harvesting in this way could be interesting,” says Dorotić.
For this year, Croatia’s fruit growers have announced a good yield, and in recent days, some larger fruit growers have called upon the institutions to be on the lookout a bit more, because, as has been claimed, most chains are reselling apples from last year’s imports. Thus, as Željko Ledinski, another fruit grower from close to Bjelovar said, some imports of apples from neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina are being sold in Konzum and Plodine for more than 11 kuna.
As he wrote, ”We’re talking about last year’s apples, and the prices are extremely high, it’s a move intended to mislead consumers and make them think they’re new apples.”