The dairy sector in Croatia

Croatia has been a member of the EU since 1 July 2013, making it the 28th EU member state. In its monthly newsletter out this week, the European Milk Board (EMB) has featured Croatia and its dairy industry. The Croatian milk producer organisation HSUPM is a member of the EMB.

“Its agriculture is rather small in scale, with an average dairy herd size of just six cows per farm,” noted Regina Reiterer of the EMB.

According to the Internet platform Agrarmarkt Austria, there are at present more than 4,500 milk producers in Croatia.

“The number of dairy farms has actually fallen markedly owing to farms being seriously in debt. That is why in 2012 there was a delivery boycott and protests lasting several days against the low milk prices paid by the dairies. The farmers called for a farm-gate price of about 45 cents a litre, whereas the dairies were offering only 32 cents,” the report noted

“Roughly 78 per cent per cent of milk produced in Croatia is for the domestic market and is processed by about 40 dairies. The biggest dairy, Dukat, belongs to the French group Lactalis. As the milk has to be collected from many small farms, in some cases the dairies have to contend with considerable logistical problems,” said Reiterer.

Roughly 132,000 tonnes of milk were supplied in the first quarter of 2013. That represents a substantial decrease of 17 per cent on the same quarter the previous year, the EMB report found.

“A great deal of milk is processed for the white dairy product range (drinking milk, fresh goods and cream). The Croatian dairies also produce cheese and some butter, whereas milk powder production is of no major significance. Croatia also imports some dairy products from the EU, primarily cheese, drinking milk and fresh goods,” it concluded.

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