Cheese and lamb from Pag are conquering markets around the world.
After celebrating 70 years of operations, the Pag Dairy recently began delivering first quantities of Pag and Mediterranean cheeses to the markets of Indonesia and Singapore “Our products are sold on four continents. Our cheeses are in America, New Zealand, Europe and in Asia, primarily in the Middle East, but now in the Far East as well. We are doing everything we can to increase our exports”, says Damir Pernar, the CEO of the Pag Dairy, reports Jutarnji List on October 2, 2016.
According to his estimate, the exports now represent a share of about 20 percent in total revenues. “If necessary, we are ready to increase our production capacities. We are satisfied with how the markets in the United States and Sweden have responded to our products, and we are preparing exports to Ireland as well. We are also slowly growing in the markets of France, Austria, Slovenia, Great Britain, and Germany”, says Pernar.
The Pag Dairy produces cheese from sheep and cow milk. It owns as many as 2,500 sheep. They are also preparing several investment projects. “We are waiting for public competitions to be announced since we intend to submit a number of projects. We will invest in cheese-making facilities and in animal husbandry. It is certain that the investment will not be worth less than five million kuna, but it all depends on the conditions of competitions. We would also like to increase the number of sheep we have”, says Pernar.
The Pag Dairy undertook a major investment in 2008, when it built a new plant for the processing of milk and dairy products. The investment was partially financed from the EU pre-accession funds and the SAPARD programme. At the time, they invested a total of 30 million kuna. The Pag Dairy is the oldest dairy on the island and the owners are current and former employees. It currently employs 85 workers. Last year, it has revenues of about 55 million kuna and profits of 1.5 million kuna. The dairy produces about 600 tons of cheese a year.
In addition to its own sheep, it also works with about 150 small stockbreeders. “This is a profitable business for a family. The problem is the expansion of construction zones, since the sheep must be kept at least 300 metres from construction and tourist zones”, concluded Pernar.