Company Employing People with Disabilities Exports All Over Europe

Total Croatia News

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Source: Suvenir Arbor

A nice human and business success story from Bjelovar-Bilogora County.

The Suvenir Arbor company from Sirač, whose primary activity is the production of wood furniture and which employs many people with disabilities, was visited recently by Minister of Labour and Pension System Marko Pavić and Prefect of Bjelovar-Bilogora County Damir Bajs. In 2013, the company found itself in a challenging situation, but was helped by the county authorities to avoid bankruptcy and get back on its feet, reports on May 29, 2018.

The drive involved a number of agreements and a series of meetings with the Ministry of Finance, creditors and workers. However, it was well worth it. In the last four years, the company has changed course and now operates without any difficulty.

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“More than 50 percent of employees are persons with disabilities, and lately the share has approached 60 percent. The government provided aid to the company last year in the amount of five million kuna. It is now a great example of the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market. I am glad that people with disabilities are being hired and activated in the market by means of our active employment policy measures, especially as most of the products are exported abroad,” said Minister Pavić.

The exact figures are 61 workers employed, of which 37 are disabled. The county’s goal is not to make a profit but to continue the 40-year-long tradition of successfully integrating people with disabilities into the community, enabling them to work independently and live with dignity.

One of the employees currently working in the company is the 24-year-old Romano Antal, at the same time a part-time student at the Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Sciences in Rijeka. After seven months of being unemployed, the Suvenir Arbor company hired him for six months, but Romano hopes to stay longer since he is extremely satisfied with the conditions.

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Investments in Suvenir Arbor continue, with the construction of a new 425,000 kuna warehouse. The company also plans to spend 450,000 kuna to renovate and upgrade a sawmill, while the construction of a new production hall worth two million kuna will start in the autumn.

The company is proud of the fact that its products can be found in some of the largest furniture chains in Croatia, while as much as 90 percent of products are exported to France, Germany and the United Kingdom. All furniture is of high quality and is primarily made of Croatian oak and beech.

Translated from (reported by Ivona Ćuk).


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