Production of Lika Products Grows, More EU Protection Coming?

Lauren Simmonds

The EU-level protection of škripavac cheese will doubtlessly put a spring back in the step of the sixteen cheese producers who produce this product in Lika-Senj County. As Marta Duic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of November, 2019, after lamb and potatoes, Lika could soon gain a third EU-protected product – škripavac cheese.

As revealed by Ivana Starčević, who is the head of the Lika Local Action Group (LAG), the initiative was initially launched four years ago by several associations and is being implemented as part of the Integra Lika 2020 project.

“Because there’s a market for this type of high-quality product, protection is a logical step in order to raise production to a higher level, price the product and brand this region as an area offering high quality food. The duration of the EU-level procedure will depend on the time it takes to check documentation and any need for adaptation to European Commission requirements,” explained Starčević.

As she explained, in addition to the mark for sales growth and better placement, promotion and work on recognition of this local product are crucial. According to information obtained from Agrovelebit, the producer of the first  Lika product to receive protection at the EU level – Lika potatoes – demand has grown precisely due to publicity and that is currently outstripping supply.

At LAG Lika, they believe that their experience so far will help them position the cheese on both the national and EU markets. In the wider area, this particular type of cheese is produced by sixteen registered cheese makers.

“The marketing of products from here has intensified with the establishment of the Lika Coop Cooperative, which markets domestic products to stores and souvenir shops at Plitvice Lakes National Park and to the Lika Quality certified sales points,” Starčević stated.

OPG Miškulin from Smiljan, otherwise Nikola Tesla’s hometown, produces traditional local cheeses as well as numerous other products from the region.

“Protecting škripavac cheese at the EU level for small traditional producers like us means a lot. With all the investment that we have to increase production and placement, this puts an extra spring in our step. We’ve acquired new cows from Austria, and thanks to more milk, we have also increased our škripavac production. We’ve completed the construction of a new barn, and we’re planning to apply for the Lika Quality label,” said Marina Miškulin, the owner of the aforementioned Smiljan-based OPG.

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