Prominent Producer Applauds Croatia's Success at World Competition

Award-winning producer Ivica Vlatković attributed Croatia's success so far at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition to individual quality and sector-wide cooperation.

Ivica Vlatković
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Apr. 17, 2023 15:05 UTC
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Ivica Vlatković

Part of our con­tin­u­ing spe­cial cov­er­age of the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.


The pres­i­dent of the Association of Olive Growers of Zadar County has con­grat­u­lated Croatian olive grow­ers for the 79 awards they have com­bined to win so far at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Ivica Vlatković earned two Gold Awards him­self at the com­pe­ti­tion and has been a vocal advo­cate for the devel­op­ment of the Croatian olive oil indus­try.

Although the com­pe­ti­tion in New York is still going on, Croatia can be proud of its olive grow­ers because they once again lifted it into the top of the olive oil world.- Ivica Vlatković, pres­i­dent, Association of Olive Growers of Zadar County

To date, Croatian pro­duc­ers have won the sec­ond most awards at the world’s largest olive oil qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion, which received 1,083 entries from 29 coun­tries and states. Only pro­duc­ers from Italy have won more, with 127 awards. Winners will con­tinue to be announced through April.

We are a small coun­try in terms of the share of olive oil, but what we pro­duce is the world’s best,” Vlatković said. Now I am sure that, if we con­tinue like this, we can win first place in the fore­see­able future.”

See Also:The Best Croatian EVOO

According to Vlatković, the Croatian Tourist Board should empha­size the suc­cesses of Croatian olive grow­ers in all its brochures and tourist fairs. He believes vis­i­tors should know they are com­ing to a small olive-grow­ing coun­try where plenty of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil is pro­duced.

Vlatković also praised olive-grow­ing event orga­niz­ers for rais­ing the pro­file of Croatia on the inter­na­tional stage.

In the past quar­ter cen­tury, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of local qual­ity events has resulted in the train­ing of more pro­fes­sional tasters and an over­all increase in the qual­ity of Croatian olive oil pro­duc­tion.

Modern mills and pro­duc­ers, with their respon­si­ble work, have helped to cre­ate a global rep­u­ta­tion for the olive indus­try,” Vlatković added. No other seg­ment of Croatian agri­cul­ture has achieved such this.”

While Vlatković acknowl­edged that there are high-qual­ity wine, cheese and pro­sciutto pro­duc­ers in Croatia, he said none of their respec­tive indus­tries had achieved a level of orga­ni­za­tion and pro­mo­tion sim­i­lar to that of Croatia’s olive oil pro­duc­ers.

Vlatković said con­sis­tency is the key to this suc­cess, with Croatian olive oil pro­duc­ers con­tin­u­ously fin­ish­ing in the top five of total awards at the NYIOOC since 2018.

This has resulted from indi­vid­ual efforts to pro­duce high-qual­ity oils and com­mu­nal efforts. He cited the work of award-win­ning pro­ducer Tomislav Duvnjak in Dalmatia, the largest olive-grow­ing region in Croatia, whose orga­niz­ing and fundrais­ing efforts helped the region achieve record suc­cess in recent years at the NYIOOC.

Duvnjak deserves all the praise and our admi­ra­tion,” Vlatković said. It is always impor­tant to have peo­ple who will push and pull for the com­mon good.”

For his efforts, Vlatković was rec­og­nized for his life­time con­tri­bu­tion to the sec­tor at a national olive and olive oil event in Split, Croatia’s sec­ond-largest city located in Dalmatia.

Although the com­pe­ti­tion in New York is still going on, Croatia can be proud of its olive grow­ers because they once again lifted it into the top of the olive oil world,” he said. This is exactly where we belong because great suc­cess is achieved when peo­ple live their dreams, enthu­si­asts who are dri­ven by pas­sion and love for their land and the sacred olive tree.”


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