Agrokor Rejects Farmers Accusations That It Promotes Imports

Total Croatia News

Farmers’ associations claim that Agrokor’s Konzum is the leading promoter of the import of fruit and vegetables.

Vlado Čondić-Galiničić, the advisor to Agrokor’s extraordinary commissioner, said he rejected the accusations that Konzum and Agrokor were generators, initiators or a cause for increased imports of fruit and vegetables to Croatia. Agrokor also denied the allegations made by several farmers’ associations about the delayed repayment of debts to small producers, reports on 4 July 2017.

On Tuesday the 4th of July, 2017, the representatives of several agricultural associations warned that small suppliers of fruit and vegetables were still waiting for a payment of 36 million euros in claims, although Ante Ramljak, the government-appointed commissioner, promised they would be paid first. They also accused Konzum of promoting imports, some of which it even pays for in advance.

This was stated at this morning’s press conference held by representatives of the Croatian Farmers’ Association, the Green List, the Independent Peasants of Croatia and the Association of Agricultural Producers of Central Croatia.

Čondić-Galiničić noted that last year nearly 80 percent of fresh fruit and vegetables on Konzum’s shelves were produced in Croatia. “I wish some other companies in our industry would report how much fresh fruit and vegetables from Croatia they have on their shelves,” he said. In the first five months of this year, the share is even higher than 80 percent, he noted, adding that “Konzum always prefers to buy local products.”

There are two reasons for 20 percent of products being imported. First, with the exception of potatoes and mandarin oranges, Croatia does not produce sufficient quantities. The second reason is seasonality. Namely, Croatia cannot provide as much as some other countries with a better climate in particular periods, so the company has to import some of the products.

As for the allegations about the import of eggs, apples and dairy products, Čondić-Galiničić said that was not true. He released the data that Konzum last year sold 99 percent of apples produced in Croatia. When it comes to eggs, 96.4 percent of eggs on Konzum shelves were from Croatia. This year, about 10 percent of eggs were exported in the first five months of the year because there were no Croatian eggs available during the Easter holidays.

“I once again reject allegations that Agrokor and Konzum are generators of import of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products. We prefer Croatian products, although they are more expensive, and we will not give up on them,” said Čondić-Galiničić.

Related to the accusations about Agrokor not paying its debts, Čondić-Galiničić stated that part of the old debt was settled immediately after 10 April as planned, while the second loan tranche will be used to pay off the remaining portion of the debt to family farms. “We expect that debts will be paid by the end of July. In this way, debts which we inherited would be entirely paid within three and a half months,” he pointed out.


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