Local officials praised the efforts of olive oil producers who yielded eleven awards at the World Competition. Their success was attributed to hard work and cooperation.
Part of our continuing special coverage of the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.
Zadar county prefect Božidar Longin held a ceremony in the homonymous capital city to congratulate local wine, cheese and extra virgin olive oil producers for their outstanding results in a series of competitions.
Encompassing northern Dalmatia and southeastern Lika, Zadar county is one of seven coastal counties in Croatia branded as an official wine tourism destination.
The awards from the competition are the best proof of how seriously and responsibly they have approached breeding and production, combining tradition and new knowledge.
“We have quality,” Longin said. “We also have respectable quantities of top-quality oils, wine and cheese, and now we should work on a stronger appeal to tourists.”
Wine producers from Zadar earned 12 awards at the recent Decanter World Wine Awards in London, and local cheese producers celebrated their success in three international competitions.See Also:The Best Olive Oils from Croatia
Meanwhile, 10 olive oil producers earned 12 awards at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the world’s largest olive oil quality competition.
Overall, producers from Croatia earned 96 awards from 112 entries in the competition, the third-highest total behind Italy and Spain. However, Croatia’s 86 percent success rate was the highest of any country that submitted more than three entries.
“In terms of percentage of success and quality, we are the best in the world,” said Ivica Vlatković, who won two Silver Awards at the competition and is the president of the Zadar County Olive Growers Association.
According to Vlatković, as many as 3,500 farmers grow olives on 2,580 hectares in the county. In addition, there are 38 mills, which process about 800,000 liters of oil. Zadar also hosts two panels with 43 certified olive oil evaluators.
“The goal is to produce, brand and sell quality extra virgin olive oils at appropriate prices to benefit not only olive growers but also consumers,” Vlatkovic said.
He believes Zadar and the rest of Dalmatia can follow the organizational playbook set by producers in the northwestern Istria peninsula to systematically sign up farmers and millers to compete in the competition and assist them in testing their oils and financing their entries.
Longin added that the awards result from the hard work and cooperation among farmers, local authorities and other institutions.
“The awards from the competition are the best proof of how seriously and responsibly they have approached breeding and production, combining tradition and new knowledge,” he said. “With such a combination, success cannot be absent.”
According to Longin, agritourism is an excellent way to develop Zadar County’s rural areas sustainably. He added the county is supporting an increasing number of new agritourism operations.
“Branding Zadar County as a gastronomic destination is one of our goals, and it is not possible without the producers of top extra virgin olive oils, wines and cheeses,” Longin said.
On behalf of the winners, Vlatković thanked the county for its efforts to support agricultural producers.