Let’s Buy Croatian: Natural Juices From Virovitica Gain Well-Deserved Recognition

Total Croatia News

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A versatile company strikes gold with natural juices. Continuing our series celebrating excellence, some 20 years after the Croatian Chamber of Commerce initiated its ‘Let’s Buy Croatian’ campaign. 

Although it is best known for its construction, energy and water management activities, the Brana company from Virovitica is becoming more and more prominent in the field of fruit and vegetables growing, including the production of natural juices, which have recently been awarded the Croatian Quality label by the Croatian Chamber of Economy.

Brana was founded as a water management company in 1953. After many successful decades of operations in that field, in more recent times it has expanded to other industries, including construction, agriculture and processing of agricultural products, energy and tourism. After constructing a large refrigerator unit for fruits and vegetables with a capacity of 2,000 tons, it has focused on agriculture and has since become one of the leading fruit and vegetable producers in Virovitica-Podravina County.

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Every year, it sells some 8,000 tons of apples, pears, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and other crops through shopping centres. It has developed successful cooperation with as many as 130 local farmers who grow fruit and vegetables on many hectares of land, and it also has its own ever-expanding production. “We are glad that farmers have recognised us a serious partner. We are working together with these hard-working people who know their job, trying to develop a fair business relationship and providing maximum assistance at every stage of production,” said Brana’s development manager Ivan Obrovac.

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Some of the company’s activities are supported by the European funds as well. New greenhouses were recently constructed in a project worth 13 million kunas. As much as 90% was covered by the European grants. “We have also acquired seeding equipment, vegetable crop machinery and new packaging machines,” explained Obrovac. “I would like to thank all the employees of the Regional Development Agency for assisting us in preparing and implementing the project, as well as our staff who are working hard on this assignment,” said Obrovac.

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In the Virovitica entrepreneurial zone, the company has built a manufacturing plant for processing fruits and vegetables and production of natural juices, which rounded up the process of transforming fruits and vegetables into a high-value product. The hall is equipped with modern equipment necessary for the production of natural juices from apple, aronia, cherry, black currant, elderberry and other fruits. This project was also implemented with assistance from European funds.

All those tasty apples, cherries, aronias, carrots and other fruit and vegetables which, due to even the slightest damage no longer meet the market conditions to be classified as the first class fruit, now become tasty juices which are offered by many catering facilities in the county and beyond. Juices are produced by pressing fruits and vegetables without the addition of preservatives, sugars, water, artificial colouring, sweeteners or aromas, and they contain just naturally present sugars.

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Marijan Pandur, the manager of natural juice production, explained that fresh fruits and vegetables are turned into juices of various combinations. “We produce fruit juices from apple, aronia, cherry, and various combinations of other seasonal fruit,” said Pandur. “The juices from Virovitica have received the Croatian Quality label, and we will soon offer them to hotels chains on the Adriatic coast,” added Obrovac.

In September, Brana took part in the Agroexpo Fair in Vitovitica, as well as in the Breakfast from Croatian Farms event, which were both opened by Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić. Brana and its natural juices recently also took part in the “Let’s Buy Croatian” event in Zagreb. Numerous citizens gathered at Ban Josip Jelačić Square, where they could taste and buy various Croatian products. The campaign was launched so that consumers would buy more locally-made products. Brana promoted and sold its natural juices at special promotional prices. Customer feedback was highly positive: consumers said they liked the taste of juices and were interested in the origin of fruit used in their production. With its participation, Brana gave its contribution to the common goal of promoting and developing a prosperous and competitive Croatian economy for the benefit of the whole society.

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By applying new technological and organisational solutions, Brana seeks to ensure the satisfaction of its clients and become a respectable partner in the development and realisation of new ideas and projects. With this intention, it regularly invests in new equipment and technology and is actively involved in industry groups, while particular attention is given to the professional training of employees and technical and technological development of the company.

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The company currently has about a hundred employees working in construction and agricultural projects. “I would like to thank all the staff who, through their work, persistence and professionalism, have made such good business results possible,” concluded Obrovac.

Brana is an excellent example of a versatile company which contributes to the development of its wider region through efforts in multiple fields. With determination to make its products and services even better, there is no doubt that Brana’s products, especially its juices which have received the Croatian Quality label, will become even more prominent in the future.


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