Officials in Zadar County Celebrate Award-Winning Producers

Prefect Božidar Longin thanked local extra virgin olive oil, wine and cheese producers for exposing a global audience to Zadar county’s agricultural products.
Ivica Vlatković with Božidar Longin and Mihaela Kadija
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Jul. 13, 2023 19:12 UTC

Olive oil, cheese and wine pro­duc­ers awarded at inter­na­tional qual­ity com­pe­ti­tions from Zadar county in Croatia were rec­og­nized at a local cer­e­mony and con­grat­u­lated by the local pre­fect, Božidar Longin.

Zadar is one of the seven coun­ties of Adriatic Croatia, which cov­ers 7,276 square kilo­me­ters, about 8.3 per­cent of the coun­try, and seeks to be branded as a food and wine tourism des­ti­na­tion.

Thank you for spread­ing the name of our county world­wide in the best pos­si­ble light.- Božidar Longin, pre­fect, Zadar county

We have qual­ity. We also have a respectable quan­tity of top-qual­ity oils, wine and cheese, and now we should work on a stronger intro­duc­tion to the tourist offer,” Longin said.

Award-win­ning wine and cheese pro­duc­ers joined local olive oil pro­duc­ers who com­bined to win 20 awards at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the world’s largest olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion in the court­yard of the county hall in Zadar, a city con­sid­ered to be older than Rome.

See Also:Workshop in Croatia Highlights Award-Winning Olive Oils

In total, pro­duc­ers from Croatia earned 105 awards at the 2023 NYIOOC. Only pro­duc­ers from Italy and Spain earned more awards than Croatia.


In terms of per­cent­age of suc­cess and qual­ity, we are the best in the world,” said Ivica Vlatković, an award-win­ning pro­ducer, in ref­er­ence to Croatia’s 80 per­cent suc­cess rate, the high­est for any coun­try that sub­mit­ted more than ten extra vir­gin olive oil sam­ples to the con­test.

Vlatković, also the pres­i­dent of the Zadar County Olive Growers Association, said olives have grown in the region for more than 2,000 years. Our ances­tors cul­ti­vated them before the ancient Greeks,” he told Olive Oil Times.

Today, accord­ing to offi­cial data, olives are grown on about 3,500 farms cov­er­ing 2,580 hectares.

About 30 years ago, a new gen­er­a­tion of olive grow­ers, based on the foun­da­tions left by our grand­fa­thers, started this new olive grow­ing story,” Vlatković said. We renewed old groves and planted new olive trees. Today, we have more than a mil­lion olive-bear­ing trees.”

As a result of the knowl­edge and imple­men­ta­tion of agrotech­ni­cal mea­sures in cul­ti­va­tion, the yields are higher every year.

Last year, despite the drought and high tem­per­a­tures, farm­ers in Zadar County pro­duced 9,500 tons of fruit with an aver­age oil yield of 15 per­cent, or 1,425 tons of olive oil. Last year’s yield was 30 per­cent above the 2021/22 crop year.

The new gen­er­a­tion of olive grow­ers has adopted new pro­fes­sional knowl­edge and tech­nol­ogy of oil pro­cess­ing and proper stor­age,” Vlatković said. Technologically mod­ern oil mills were built, and the world rec­og­nized the qual­ity.”

He added that he is espe­cially glad Croatian olive oils are appre­ci­ated and rec­og­nized world­wide.

I am espe­cially glad that the efforts of our grand­fa­thers were not in vain and that we breathed new life into the olive trees they planted for the new gen­er­a­tions that will come after us,” Vlatković said.

He pointed out how pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of olive grow­ers had worked hard to clear the land and build kilo­me­ter-long stone walls to divide agri­cul­tural land and pro­tect olive trees from the ele­ments.

Now, the goal is to pro­duce, brand and sell high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils at appro­pri­ate prices so that not only olive grow­ers but also con­sumers ben­e­fit,” said Vlatković, who earned two Gold Awards at the 2023 NYIOOC.

During the cer­e­mony, Longin thanked the award-win­ning pro­duc­ers for pro­mot­ing the Dalmatian county to a global audi­ence.

Thank you for spread­ing the name of our county world­wide in the best pos­si­ble light,” he said. Thank you for all the awards you have been bring­ing for years because you are the pride of our coun­ty’s cit­i­zens. We are orig­i­nally an agri­cul­tural des­ti­na­tion; we all started from it.”

Today, tourism is our main eco­nomic branch, but I mea­sure the sea­son by the suc­cess of the sale of our prod­ucts,” Longin added. We must per­sist in qual­ity and brand and con­tinue work­ing on pro­mot­ing our county as an eno-gas­tro des­ti­na­tion.”

This is an addi­tional qual­ity to the tourist offer; real guests will com­bine the beauty of our region with the fla­vors that it can offer,” he con­cluded.


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