ZAGREB, April 21, 2020 – President Zoran Milanović visited the PPK Meat Industry factory in Karlovac to see how the food supply chain was functioning amid the coronavirus crisis, particularly the Pivac Group which together with PPK generates a turnover of about €500 million.
Milanović told reporters that PPK seemed to be coping well with unexpected risks and that if a similar situation were to ever occur again some lessons have been taught.
PPK CEO Igor Miljak said that they showed the president their daily routine in light of the coronavirus crisis, informing him of the lack of raw materials and the number of animals bred which covers only about a half of PPK’s needs for raw materials.
The president was told of the high level of safety in the meat processing industry with regard to viruses and bacteria and that everything was being done in line with veterinary and public health standards.
However, checks have been stepped up at the entrance to the factory where workers are tested for body temperature and if there were to be any anomalies with a worker or their families or friends they would be relieved from the production line. Distance between workers is maintained and shift work has been introduced, Miljak said, stressing that so far not one worker has been infected.
PPK did not record a decrease in production in March and April as households increased their stocks, or at Easter when more meat is traditionally produced, he added. A decrease in production can be expected if the tourism season is affected.
Miljak explained that when the crisis emerged there were some difficulties with the supply of raw materials, yet deliveries were maintained. However, with a threat of the borders being closed, Croatia’s lack of self-sufficiency in raw materials became obvious.
PPK has 560 employees. There have not been any lay-offs nor should there be in the foreseeable future. The company exports about 10% of its production, Miljak said.
Milanović said that Croatia needs to start making political decisions and not those based on expertise. At first Croatia responded instinctively to the outbreak of coronavirus, as did most of the world.
“Today we know a lot more about the disease than we did two weeks ago and some decisions need to be made at the political level and not by experts,” said Milanović.
More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.