Livestock and Mariculture: Opportunity to Grow Exports in the EU
European Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health made a decision to allow Croatia to export pork, pork products, and shellfish onto EU markets and without limitations. The export of pork and pork products from Croatia into the EU was banned in 2005, because Croatia used vaccines against the swine plague. Presently, Croatia produces approximately half of its own needs and yearly exports 40,000 tons of pork and pork products. The lifting of the ban can expect to positively affect the large food processing companies including, Belje and PIK Vrbovec from the Agrokor group, Pivac, and Gavrilovic. The export of shellfish to the EU was banned in 1992 when Croatia exported 1,500 tons. Croatia produces 4,000 tons of shellfish yearly, which satisfies local demand. The state plan for the development of the mariculture sector forecasts an increase of production to 20,000 tons, which will allow for a significant portion being allocated for export. The lifting of this ban will positively affect the largest shellfish producers in the Krka River region (Sibenik), the Limski channel (Istria), and the Mali Ston Bay (Dubrovnik). Croatian producers will need to invest in their facilities to significantly increase their production volumes to supply markets such as Italy. Also, the high quality of Croatian (Adriatic) shellfish offers an opportunity for Croatian producers to market and provide its products to high-end “niche” consumers/markets, significantly increasing profitability.