`Officials Urge Croatia's Tourism Operators to Showcase Award-Winning Olive Oils - Olive Oil Times

Officials Urge Croatia's Tourism Operators to Showcase Award-Winning Olive Oils

By Nedjeljko Jusup
Apr. 24, 2024 16:54 UTC

Olive oils from our small coun­try are among the best in the world, and if I were a tourist, I would buy it as a sou­venir,” said Meri Šilović.

The edi­tor-in-chief of the Maslina (mean­ing Olive’ in Croatian) trade mag­a­zine – highly influ­en­tial in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro – cel­e­brated the 20th anniver­sary of its pub­li­ca­tion with a panel dis­cus­sion about olive oil as a tourist brand.

As tourism grows in our region, as well as through­out Croatia, so does the demand for our pre­mium olive oils.- Krešimir Uroda, owner, OPG Uroda

The event was held in the Klis Olive Museum in Stella Croatica, a town 19 kilo­me­ters away from Split, the largest city in Dalmatia and the sec­ond largest in Croatia.

Speakers at the event included rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the min­istries of tourism and agri­cul­ture, lead­ers of tourist boards, sci­en­tists and suc­cess­ful olive grow­ers from cen­tral Dalmatia, includ­ing Tomislav Duvnjak (Vodice), Domagoj Živković (OPG Laurenta), Ivo Radojković (TO Zvir), Miroslav Ivić and Krešimir Uroda (OPG Uroda).

See Also:Istrian Officials Share Oleotourism Insights at Events in Spain and Italy

Tonči Glavina, the state sec­re­tary in the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, was also in atten­dance. He is the son of the award-win­ning olive oil pro­ducer Ivan Glavina of OPG Glavina, which became the first pro­ce­dure from Klis to win an award at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition in 2023.

Glavina was born and raised in Klis and still helps his father and other fam­ily mem­bers cul­ti­vate olives and pro­duce extra vir­gin olive oil.

He took the oppor­tu­nity to con­grat­u­late all the Croatian olive grow­ers awarded at the 2024 edi­tion of the World Competition.

I am par­tic­u­larly pleased that, in addi­tion to the already world-famous olive grow­ing des­ti­na­tion of Istria, there are more extra vir­gin olive oils from Dalmatia that are gain­ing world­wide recog­ni­tion,” he said.


State Secretary Tonči Glavina

This is the result of the hard work of our olive grow­ers, as well as the asso­ci­a­tions and coop­er­a­tives of olive grow­ers, who have also been work­ing hard to pro­mote Dalmatian oils in recent years,” Glavina added.

Mirela Žanetić, head of the pro­fes­sional panel for sen­sory eval­u­a­tion of vir­gin olive oils from the Split-based Institute for Adriatic Culture and Karst Reclamation, told the con­fer­ence that Dalmatian pro­duc­ers had not achieved award-win­ning qual­ity overnight.

We have been con­duct­ing sci­en­tific research on our autochtho­nous vari­eties for more than 20 years, and there are no plan­ta­tions or inten­sive olive groves here,” she said. All the secrets and wis­dom lie in our cli­mate and tra­di­tion.”


Panelists discussing olive oil as a tourist brand at Stella Croatica

Many pro­duc­ers here fol­low the live broad­cast of the results from New York, which begins at 3:00 p.m. local time (9:00 a.m. in New York).

At one point, Uroda, a medium-inten­sity blend of Leccino, Oblica, Levantinka and Lastovka olives pro­duced by OPG Uroda, appeared among the awardees.

There’s mine,” exclaimed Krešimir Uroda, the owner of the award-win­ning oil. This is the third Gold Award for the olive grower from Pirovac.

He and his fam­ily grow 450 olive trees, and the Robinson house Orkula” is part of the olive grove, which tourists often visit. As tourism grows in our region, as well as through­out Croatia, so does the demand for our pre­mium olive oils,” Uroda said.


The Uroda family

He also founded the Ultra Extra Association with about 20 younger olive grow­ers. Only those whose oils do not exceed 0.5 per­cent acid­ity can become mem­bers of our asso­ci­a­tion, while the cri­te­ria for extra vir­gin is 0.8 per­cent,” Uroda said.

They plan to obtain a Proven Quality” cer­tifi­cate in coop­er­a­tion with the rel­e­vant min­istry, which will be dis­played on the pack­ag­ing of their oils.

Such extra vir­gin olive oil could then be sold in phar­ma­cies, health food stores, dynamic nutri­tion stores and sim­i­lar out­lets, which would open up new mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for us,” said Uroda, who drinks two table­spoons of olive oil mixed with lemon juice each morn­ing on an empty stom­ach. It’s a med­i­cine,” he added.


Krešimir Uroda and fiancee Đurđica

Croatia has about four mil­lion inhab­i­tants and is vis­ited annu­ally by more than 20 mil­lion tourists who spend 108 mil­lion nights there.

During the Maslina, event offi­cials and pro­duc­ers said win­ning awards at the NYIOOC has proven to be an effec­tive way to pro­mote olive oils as a tourist brand.

Since 2021, Croatia has become one of the win­ningest coun­tries at the World Competition, partly due to a coor­di­nated effort by Duvnjak to orga­nize Dalmatian pro­duc­ers to send more local olive oil sam­ples to the com­pe­ti­tion.

YearAwardsEntriesSuccess Rate (%)
Source: Official Guide to the World’s Best Olive Oils

However, due to cli­matic dis­as­ters and pests, a weaker crop and smaller quan­ti­ties of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin oils, Croatian pro­duc­ers sub­mit­ted fewer sam­ples this year but still achieved excel­lent results.

With the judg­ing set to con­tinue through the start of May, pro­duc­ers from Croatia have already won 74 awards from 97 entries, accord­ing to the Official Guide and the World Olive Oil Ranking. Only Italy and the United States pro­duc­ers have received more awards this year.


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