Rags to Riches, 90% of Croatian Company’s Goods Exported

Lauren Simmonds

The company employs 61 workers, of which 37 are disabled.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of May, 2018, Suvenir Arbor in Sirač, whose primary activity is the production of wood furniture and which employs people with disabilities, was visited by the Minister of Labour, Marko Pavić, and the prefect of Bjelovar-Bilogora County, Damir Bajs.

As Lokalni.hr writes, back in 2013, this company was in a much less than ideal state, and was then helped to get back on its feet. Naturally, this implied a number of agreements, a series of meetings with the Ministry of Finance, creditors and workers, and in the last four years, the company has reached a significant turning point, and the work and the production of the company now runs a stable business. Minister Pavić personally came to highlight the company’s excellent business.

”This is a company in which more than 50 percent of its employees are disabled, and we’ve heard that the exact number is actually as high as 60 percent. The state has helped the company with measures of five million kuna in the past year. They’re a wonderful example of the integration of people with disabilities into the market, they’ve proved that it can be done. Congratulations to the prefect for maintaining such a successful company. I’m glad that people with disabilities have been hired and activated themselves in the labour market by means of active employment policy measures, especially as most of their products are exported abroad,” added Pavić, visibly delighted with what he found.

”The county’s goal is not profit, but a continuation of the 40-year tradition of successfully integrating people with disabilities into the community, enabling them to work independently and adding dignity to their lives. This company went through some difficult moments but successfully returned to the market. The wish of the county, as is that of the founder, is to get good financial results and revenues in the labour market and to cut the amount being received from the county budget, which amounts to 1.6 million kuna annually,” stated Bajs.

One of the employees is 24-year-old Romano Antal, currently an extraordinary student at the Faculty of Transport in Rijeka. After seven long months of being unemployed, the company hired him for half a year, after which Romano hopes to stay on working there because he is extremely satisfied with the company’s work conditions.

Considerable investment in this Croatian company continues, and owing to that, the construction of a new warehouse worth 425,000 kuna is in progress, 450,000 kuna’s worth of renovation and upgrading is also in progress, and this autumn, the construction of a new production hall worth two million kuna is planned.

The company is exceptionally proud of the fact that their products can be found on the shelves of some of the largest furniture chains in Croatia, and as much as 90 percent of the products are exported to other European countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom.


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