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Croatia: Support to the Development of Geographical Indications - Project page

Geographical indications (GIs) are a sign used on high-quality goods that are linked to their specific geographical origin through terroir or tradition. GIs have emerged as an important instrument of intellectual property protection and have become an important part of agricultural policy making in many countries, with approximately 10 000 GIs registered worldwide at an estimated annual trade value of USD 50 billion. In Croatia, two unique products were identified by FAO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to pave the way for the development of GIs in the country: Kulen sausage from the Baranja region and mandarins from the Neretva valley.

In November 2010, EBRD, with the support of its Shareholder Special Fund, called upon FAO’s technical expertise on GI development to strengthen the capacity of institutions responsible for GIs in Croatia and to support the creation of GIs for the two above-mentioned products. The successful project is the result of the joint efforts of FAO, EBRD, the Croatian agribusiness company Agrokor and the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), in close cooperation with small-holder farmers and producers.

Since 2005, the MoA has lead the protection and promotion of GIs; and in 2009 amendments were introduced to harmonize existing regulations with EU legislation. By bringing together the MoA and Agrokor and connecting them with local producers, EBRD and FAO were able to build on the existing momentum and work to improve backward linkages between Agrokor and its agricultural suppliers, strengthen public-private interactions, support the development of stronger local brands to enhance the rural economy, and raise the importance of quality in consumers’ choices. This, in turn, has also spurred other stakeholders to work more actively on promotion and registration of other potential GI products in Croatia and the region.

The primary aims of the project included:

  • increasing the awareness of stakeholders at national and local level on importance of developing GI products;
  • strengthening interactions between local agro-industry, farmers and government authorities for the development of sustainable GIs;
  • enhancing role and capacity of local administration in supporting GI registration and protection;
  • increasing consumer awareness on Croatia GIs in domestic and export niche markets;
  • paving the way for local farmer organizations to market/promote origin-based products of quality.
  • The kulen was successfully registered as a protected geographical indication (PGI) in July 2012 and the mandarin achieved protected designation of origin (PDO) status, which has even stricter requirements than the PGI, in September 2013.

    The registration of these GIs goes beyond just two products, which are expected to serve as examples in the region. Producers of similar goods in the Balkans have already initiated the GI registration process. As international recognition builds, farmers will be able to hold on to tradition and culture while seeing their investments grow.

    Final project documents
    document title language format  
    Conference agenda English PDF Download
    Conference agenda Croatian PDF Download
    Linking people, places and products - GI guide English PDF Download
    Povezivanje: ljudi, mjesta, proizvodi Croatian PDF Download
    Postignuca na institucionalnoj razini (Ministry of Agriculture) Croatian PDF Download
    Support to the development of GIs in Croatia (FAO) English PDF Download
    Neretvanska mandarina presentation Croatian PDF Download
    Baranjski kulen presentation Croatian PDF Download
    The value of GIs: limitations, advantages and future (REDD) Croatian PDF Download
    Related meetings
    document title language format  
    Study Tour for Croatian Mandarin Producers in Southern Italy, March 2012 English URL Download
    Croatian sausage producers explore benefits of GIs, Italy, September 2011 English URL Download
    Geographical Indications in Croatia, Zagreb, April 2011 English URL Download
    Related news
    document title language format  
    FAO/EBRD Press Release - October 2013 English URL Download
    Croatian food products win Geographical Indication status - EBRD English URL Download
    FAO helps develop protected status for food products in Croatia English URL Download
    Plans Ripen for Croatian Citrus, March 2012 English URL Download
    Boosting sales of Croatian products with Geographical Indications, May 2011 English URL Download
    Croatian Kulen producers explore benefits of GIs, December 2011 English URL Download
    Related videos
    document title language format  
    Baranjski kulen Croatian URL Download
    Mandarins of Neretva Valley Croatian URL Download
    Project video English URL Download
    EBRD video English URL Download
    Useful resources and websites
    document title language format  
    Agrokor English URL Download
    REDD English URL Download
    INRA Corsica English URL Download
    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development English URL Download
    FAO Investment Centre English URL Download
    Croatia Ministry of Agriculture English URL Download
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