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British Croatian Business Club Winetasting Event

Ms Davorka Žanić Dražić, MSc, Counsellor (Economic Affairs) wrote about a recent networking event on the website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

London, January 30th, 2018. 
Presentation of Croatian wines at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in London

 

Marking the Day of the Protector of Wine and Vinegar St Vincent of Saragossa, (22nd January) at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in London, a presentation of Croatian wines originating from Korcula, Slavonia and Zagorje, was organized by the British-Croatian Business Club (BCBC). During his speech, Ambassador Igor Pokaz, pointed out the need to further assist the promotion of Croatian wines in the British market, and representatives of the BCBC highlighted the long tradition of viticulture in Croatia. 

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Most interesting and useful was the presentation of Croatian wines by Christopher Burr, a well-known British Master of Wine from the Institute of Masters of Wine in London, who talked about the exhibited wine varieties such as pošip, plavac, plavac morkan, merlot, Korčulanka and rose from wineries Blato 1902  in Korčula, Galić d.o.o from Eastern Slavonia and the family winery Jarec Kure from Zagorje. In particular, he praised the “plavac” wine, as the most delicious wine he’d ever tasted. Talking about the possibility of placing quality Croatian wines in an extremely competitive British market, he pointed to several important elements.

Firstly, he drew attention to the fact that 86% of the UK wine market refers to wines whose price-per-bottle is less than six pounds. This includes 35% of the commission taken by the UK’s major retail chains and a high alcohol tax of £2.16 per bottle, which means that the UK wine producer ultimately gets one euro per bottle, or less. Given that Croatia does not have such large wine-producing capacities that could be marketed at such low prices on the British market, Burr proposed the establishment of business contacts with the ‘high-end’ market as a second, far more favorable variant for Croatian winemakers, i.e. restaurants, hotels and smaller specialized stores in the United Kingdom. 

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Mr Burr believes that Croatian winemakers should continue investing in grapevine production and quality wine cellar equipment, which has experienced significant advances in recent years. He emphasized that they must start investing heavily in sales marketing, or finding adequate distributors, who in the UK take 15-20% commission and focus on targeted markets to build long-term, global brand recognition. Along with the wine, guests were also presented with products of prosciutto Pršut Voštane d.o.o. and Dim-Mes d.o.o. virgin olive oils from Korcula and Šolta, Pag cheese Paška sirane d.o.o., as well as various other Croatian delicacies.

Among the guests were also representatives from The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The London Southside Chamber of Commerce, The British – Serbian Chamber of Commerce London, The British Expertize, The International Business and Diplomatic Exchange, The Rotary Ampthill & District, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Croatian Parliament’s Tourism Board, the HTZ Office in London, The Croatian World Congress for the UK and Ireland, the Croatian Catholic Mission in London.  

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British Croatian Business Club

In May this 2013, the British Croatian Business Club was launched to coincide with the accession of Croatia into the European Union. A gala event and products & services fair was held in the Battersea Arts Centre to promote and celebrate the Croatian milestone and the beginning of the independent non-commercial business club funded by membership and sponsorship, known as the BCBC. Frank Cetinich is one of the founding members and the first Chairman of the BCBC. In between site visits and technical troubleshooting for CEFRANK UK, Frank is currently working hard to promote business and opportunities between Great Britain and Croatia. With such a wealth of experience doing business and networking on an international level, Frank is ideal as the driving force behind the new business club.

There are two key aims behind BCBC: one is to represent the interests of businesses in the United Kingdom and Croatia; and the second is to help businesses grow and connect, both nationally and internationally.”BCBC Website

The President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Ivo Josipovic expressed his sincere congratulations at the Club’s effort to promote Croatia within the United Kingdom. The effort of the Club was also recognized by the British Government and the Worshipful the Mayor of Wandsworth, Councilor Angela Graham, who visited the Fair and met representatives of Croatian companies. The Croatian Ambassador to London His Excellency dr.sc. Ivan Grdesic and British Ambassador to Croatia His Excellency David Slinn evaluated the Fair as a unique opportunity to create a long lasting relationship between British and Croatian companies within the European market.

Since the inception of the club, there have already been several events that the BCBC has been involved in including, the Olympic Games at Croatia House in London, live music events, Croatia at the Crossroads conference, the Zadar City Council presentation on business investment opportunities, Henley Royal Regatta VIP luncheon, Guards Polo Club Windsor VIP lunch, presentation on tourism development projects in Croatia, Members visit Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj and there are many more events planned for the remainder of 2013.

“As we embark on the first year of the British Croatian Business Club, I envisage a network of business people with a common goal to centralise, fortify and mobilise the Croatian Diaspora not only within Britain, but globally. As a hub of international business support, we will provide a forum for discussion and negotiation to facilitate business growth for Croatians all over the world. With the ascension of Croatia into the EU, a wealth of opportunities will emerge, unprecedented in their potential. The BCBC will be here to support business that will flourish from this opportunity. We will be here to strengthen relations and build understanding between the business networks of Britain and Croatia across a broad scope of important factors including protocol and regulations.” Frank Cetinich

For more information, visit www.bcbc.org.uk