Good Year for Croatian Olive Producers

Total Croatia News

However, large share of olive oil is sold on the black market.

This is a great year for Croatian olive producers. With 19,100 hectares of olive groves planted in Croatia, good yield could be reflected in somewhat lower prices of olive oil, which should make everybody happy. However, some producers complain that there is a major problem: large share of olive oil is sold on the black market, reports on November 7, 2016.

“It is sad that even those who receive subsidies for planting olive trees sell some of their oil on black market. No one controls how much they paid to the budget in taxes for production or sale”, said Davor Karninčić, director of Trenton, a company from Split which produces olive oil and olives, and which last year had revenues of 46 million kuna.

In Croatia, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2015 there were 19,100 hectares of olive groves, which was 18 hectares more than in 2014. In total, 28,267 tons of olives were harvested and 35,352 hectolitres of olive oil were produced.

This year, Istria was named the world’s best olive region. Agrolaguna company, which is part of the Agrokor Group, has 220 hectares of olive groves with 65,000 trees in that region. The fruit is picked by hand and with machines, and is then in the shortest possible time transported to an olive oil plant, because the optimum time for processing is 24 hours. “This year was optimal for olive growing. Climate conditions were favourable for the whole process, the pest was minimal, so we have very good quality olives”, announced Agrolaguna which last year had revenues in the amount of 110,530,000 kuna. The average yield per tree at Agrolaguna is just over 20 kilograms, and they expect to produce around 170,000 kilograms of olives this year. In addition to their own olives, they also produce olive oil from olives brought to them by small farmers.

Secretary of the Istrian Association of Olive Oil Zdravko Barac said that this would be an above average harvest, which could therefore mean slightly lower prices of olive oil. However, producers should be satisfied. Prices are formed based on the largest manufacturer the area, which is Agrolaguna.

In neighbouring Italy, prices are somewhat lower, but Croatia cannot compare with that country. “South of Italy has much larger trees and higher yields, while on the other hand Istria is one of the northernmost area where ​​olives grow at all. However, when it comes to quality, we are at the top”, explained Barac.

It takes about 5.5 kilograms of olives to obtain one litre of olive oil, and one picker can pick about seven kilograms of olives per hour.


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