Polish Eggs for Croatian Students

Total Croatia News

Despite recent health scares, eggs from Poland will be on the menu of student canteens for the next two years.

Earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić visited Split as part of his “Healthy breakfast from Croatian farms” initiative. He once again advocated for the interests of Croatian agricultural producers. In order to allow their fair competition with importers, the minister said that the government would introduce a law on unfair commercial practices, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on February 26, 2017.

According to Tolušić, while it is impossible to force retailers to sell more Croatian products, the new regulations will prevent sales of extremely cheap products which are killing the competitiveness of Croatian farmers.

Of course, it is clear that the state cannot order retailers what to sell, but the problem is that it seems it cannot do the same with public institutions as well. Managements of student centres in Zagreb and Varaždin, which take care of over 70,000 students, have recently concluded a public tender for the supply of eggs for the next two years and awarded the contract to an importer. They decided to accept an offer of the Oregon company from Viškovo in Istria, which offered eggs from the territory of the European Union, more precisely from Poland, at a price of 55 lipa per egg, plus VAT. It is interesting that the tender was concluded at the end of December last year, at the height of the scandal with infected eggs and meat from Poland, which agricultural inspectors found on shelves of Croatian supermarkets.

Acting managing director of the Student Centre in Zagreb Mirko Bošnjak said that he made the decision on the basis of the “best rated first-ranked bid”, which in other words means on the basis of lowest price. In any case, in the next two years canteens which are part of student centres in Zagreb and Varaždin will receive 1.8 million eggs from Poland which will cost 1.32 million kuna.

“That is true, we have won the contract and we have been supplying the canteens for a month. You can check whether anyone was ill after consuming our eggs. These eggs from Poland can be brought to Croatia within 24 hours. In addition, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of egg producers in Poland and we do business only with those who have healthy and high-quality products. I do not know what is controversial about that”, said an employee of the Istrian company.

However, students are certainly not going to eat eggs as fresh as they would be if local Croatian products were instead selected at the tender, according to an employee of another company which also competed for the contract. “There is no doubt that eggs can be delivered from Poland within 24 hours, but the question is how long will it take to collect the required number of eggs in Poland. If you want to fill up a truck with approximately 300,000 eggs, you will need ten days, if not longer”, said the employee.

Therefore, each shipment of eggs, once it arrives in Croatia, is already almost two weeks old, and the maximum expiration period for eggs is 28 days. “Freshness of local eggs is unquestionable because they reach canteens in just one day”, said a representative of a Croatian producer whose bid was 15 percent more expensive than Oregon’s. “We went below production costs, under 65 lipa, but they went even further. In any case, if the Student Centre decided to buy Croatian eggs, they would have to pay maybe 100,000 kuna more, or 50,000 kuna more per year”, said the representative.

Interestingly, the tender would likely not have ended in this way if the decision was made just three days later. The Student Centre made the decision on 28 December 2016, and on 1 January 2017 the new Law on Public Procurement came into effect, which allows the state to suggest to public institutions to buy local products.

“The law states that contracting authorities, in the selection of best bids, should take into account the criteria which enable closer integration of agricultural and public sector, while ensuring the freshness of the product, reduction of costs of transport and distribution, greater utilization of the nutritional value of products, and also reduction of the negative effects of transportation on the environment. In this way, starting from 1 January, all schools, kindergartens, hospitals, military barracks, student centres, nursing homes and other institutions can buy food which travels from farms to tables under 48 hours. That means that consumers will better and fresher food, while Croatian producers will have guaranteed sales of their products. This will bring long-term economic benefits by increasing the competitiveness of domestic production”, explained the Agriculture Ministry.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment