September the 28th, 2023 – A brand new Podravka factory worth between fifteen and seventeen million euros is on the horizon. Climate change, an ever pressing issue, is at the forefront.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, agriculture, particularly the growing of vegetables, plays a key part in all future plans and strategies of Podravka. This industry will gain even greater importance in the years to come.
A stronger turn towards agriculture
There were times when it wasn’t given enough attention, and the focus was more on imports for this well-known domestic enterprise. Among an array of reasons for Podravka’s more obvious turn towards agriculture lies in some very ambitious business decisions and plans.
“Our business goals require high-quality and available raw materials, preferably from nearby locations, because only through control and ensuring supply can we expect growth in the production of our finished products,” explained Martina Dalić, as reported recently by Večernji list.
However, this calculation, as she emphasised, isn’t all that simple, considering the fact that the burning issue of climate change also interferes in the wider game. Therefore, Podravka’s management decided to follow the old saying “trust yourself and your own hands” and now relies much more on its own resources in production. Over the last two years, Podravka has invested significantly in the irrigation of the areas in which it operates, which confirms the seriousness of their intention to cooperate with their subcontractors, whom they see as reliable partners with whom they can plan future production, share advice, seedlings and other resources. Special attention has also been paid to increasing the production of tomatoes in cooperation with subcontractors, as well as the production of peppers.
A new Podravka factory
Accordingly, a new Podravka factory for tomato processing is currently under construction in Kalnik near Varaždin. It will be worth between fifteen and seventeen million euros in total. The plan is for the new Podravka factory to be completed next spring, when trial production of tomatoes will begin. It’s expected that this new Podravka factory will process three to four times more tomatoes than was previously produced on the Istrian peninsula, where cooperation with subcontractors will continue to be present.
Additionally, Podravka plans to strengthen production in the continental part of Croatia, which has already started on an area spanning approximately thirty hectares. The yields so far have been relatively good, so Podravka logically hopes for an annual production of industrial tomatoes on a total of about 300 hectares. In view of the increasing uncertainty due to climate change faced by many farmers, Dalić announced more intense negotiations with subcontractors from the autumn period onwards in order to further ensure an increase in terms of yields. As the largest agricultural and food industry in all of Croatia, Podravka has been quick to recognise the need for deeper and stronger connections between large enterprises and local farmers.
Climatic changes are proving a challenge
Dalibor Kezele, Podravka’s agriculture director, pointed out that this year was particularly challenging and difficult in terms of climatic conditions. Those weather patterns taught us all that we have to better deal with risks for certain crops. The pepper harvest is currently underway, from which Podravka produces “the best ajvar in the world”, and the second part of the year, as he noted, is proving to be much more successful than the first part.