SPLIT, 22 April 2022 – Vjekoslav Žužić from the island of Krk has the best pršut this year. This was confirmed after he won the championship title at the 8th Days of Croatian Pršut, which are being held in Split.
With his new title, Žužić continues his success at domestic and international festivals and fairs and further promotes Krk pršut. This is his second championship title at the Days of Croatian Pršut, which gathered about a hundred representatives of institutions, the meat industry and producers of protected Croatian pršuts at the Park Hotel in Split.
Tomorrow, the event will move to Prokurative in Split, where visitors will be able to taste and buy all the awarded pršuts, and the greatest interest will surely be attracted by the champion from Krk.
“The awards are an incentive to be even better and more quality and a confirmation that effort always pays off. Recognitions such as these also contribute to the promotion of Krk pršut, which is the first Croatian protected product at the European Union level,” said the winner Vjekoslav Žužić.
Second place went to the Istrian prosciutto Buršić, and third place went to the Dalmatian pršut Smjeli. 14 protected prosciuttos from Istria, Krk, Drniš and Dalmatia and three from Montenegro arrived for evaluation.
During the past two pandemic years, it was extremely important for pršut producers and lovers not to interrupt the production cycle, given that the process is long and lasts up to two years.
Continuity of production has been preserved, production is growing from year to year and currently about half a million pršuts are produced in Croatia, and about a million are eaten. In other words, half is covered by imports.
Bigger increase in pršut prices next year
“After two difficult pandemic years, with inflation and war in Ukraine, an even more challenging period follows for us producers. On the one hand, we are expecting an uncertain tourist season, and on the other hand, rising prices – both raw materials and energy, raw materials and labour. Ultimately, this has already affected the growth of prices of the finished product. But that is just the beginning. A strong jump in the price of pršut next year is expected with an increase in the price of pork, and this will ultimately – looking at economic logic – cause less demand,” said Darko Markotić, President of the Croatian Pršut Cluster.
Blaženko Boban, prefect of Split-Dalmatia County, pointed out that he was particularly pleased that more than 60 percent of pršut produced, or more than 300,000 pieces in Croatia, were produced locally and that foreign guests recognised Dalmatian pršut as a top Croatian delicacy.
Velibor Mačkić, an envoy of President Zoran Milanović, also sees a great chance in marketing Croatian products in tourism, and the association of producers such as the Croatian Pršut Cluster, which brings together producers from Istria to southern Dalmatia, also helps.
Days of Croatian Pršut connect producers
“Such events are important for the development of the sector – the eighth Days of Croatian Pršut are important for promoting Croatia as one of the gastronomically recognised and well-known destinations, but also the best way for producers to connect with consumers and each other and become recognisable. The Ministry of Agriculture invests a lot in the policy of strengthening the recognition of domestic products, since we see in it an opportunity to raise the competitiveness of our producers. Today, at the EU level, Croatia has 35 agricultural and food products whose name is registered in the European Union as a protected designation of origin or protected geographical indication and occupies a high seventh place, including Krk, Drniš, Dalmatian and Istrian pršut,“ said Marija Vučković, Minister of Agriculture.
Dragan Kovačević, Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism, added that in the exchange of fresh, chilled and frozen pork Croatia is recording a large deficit, more than 160 million euros. However, it is encouraging that we have a surplus in the exchange of meat products, with special emphasis on the fact that compared to 2020 last year, exports of ham and shoulder products, which include pršut, grew at a rate of more than 25 percent and that Croatia mostly realised these exports on the European Union market.