Canned fish producer Sardina opened its new 15,000 square metre factory on Friday in Postira on the island of Brac, an investment worth over 30 million euros. The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) reportedly funded 70% of the project, with the remaining 30% coming from Sardina. Croatia’s Agriculture Minister Tihomir Jakovina was on hand in Postira to officially open the factory, where he stressed the importance of the fisheries industry to Croatia’s economy. Jakovina, who confirmed that the investment was the largest in the industry since the country’s independence, said that now Croatia has become a member of the EU, around 40 million euro from fishing funds would be available from 2014 to 2020, and around 333 million euro a year from rural development funds.
With the new factory opening, Sardina hope to employ another 100 staff to bring the number of employees up to 330. Sardina currently exports around 70% of its 17 million cans of fish it produces annually, and plan to increase production to around 40 million cans per year with the new factory. The 106-year-old company also is engaged in fish farming and is working on new products such as fish pates and frozen fish packets. The new plants freezing capacity is 150 tonnes of fish per day, and has storage capacity for 4,000 tonnes of frozen fish.