First anniversary of the Zadar County Farmers Market

Sep 20, 2014

PHOTO: UNDP CROATIA

Trust justified by the highest quality agricultural products

On the 20th of September the first anniversary of the Zadar County Farmers Market that was jointly launched by Zadar County and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was marked with a series of activities. This celebration highlighted the quality and originality of agricultural products that classify the Farmers' Market as the main meeting point for farmers of Zadar County and their customers.

„The primary goal of this project was to create recognizable places for small family farms where they will be able to directly trade, but also achieve intimate contact with customers. In a year of work, the Farmers' Market justified its existence and showed that there is a continuous interest of buyers for quality products of verified origin,” said Daniel Segaric, Head of Department of Agriculture of Zadar County.

So far, more than 40 small family farmers have exhibited their products, six of which are organic farmers, with about 800 customers visiting them at the market every Saturday.

„The fundamental value of the Farmers' Market mainly lies in the quality of the products, and on the helpfulness of farmers. Domestic customers once again proved to be the most faithful, considering that revenues during the tourist season were not significantly increased,“ emphasized Ivana Laginja, Head of the UNDP's Regional Office in Zadar. She added that the quality of products was recognized by Zadar caterers who included products from the Farmers' Market into their offer of local dishes.

During the year different events were organized to promote the Farmers’ Market: food tasting and evaluation of domestic products, performances of vocal ensembles and folklore groups. A series of trainings on the use of EU funds, measures of rural development and the tools they can use to improve their production and businesses were organized for family farms of Zadar County and for the exhibitors at the Farmers' Market.

In addition, there has been a circle of satisfied customers that rely on domestic products every week. Fresh fruits and vegetables, milk products, bee products, wine, olive oil and other products from the Farmers' Market have very quickly become an essential part of the weekly and monthly shopping cart of their customers.

„Local communities that can offer products from the sea, mountains and fields by short supply chains in the way that Zadar County can are rare. Therefore, I call all producers to contact us so that we can further enrich the offer of the Farmers' Market,“ said Vlado Kovacevic, Head of Agency for Rural development of Zadar County that manages the  Farmers’ Market from January 2014.

As part of the commemorative program to mark the first anniversary of the Farmers' Market, a tasting of local products for visitors was organized. They also had the opportunity to meet beekeepers and to see Honey Strainers on solar power, as well as the handmade production of beehives. Municipalities of Zadar County also joined the celebration and introduced visitors with its traditional products.