Feature 18 Apr 17

Agrokor Crisis Threatens Croatia's Small Farmers With Ruin

While the crisis facing Croatia's giant retailer remains in the focus of attention, the disastrous potential effects of this crisis on Agrokor's suppliers have mostly been ignored.

Relja Dusek
Djuro and Melita Golubic on their meat-producing farm in Vrbovecka Dubrava, near Zagreb. Photo: Relja Dusek

Zvonimir Sirjan’s family farm is one of the largest manufacturers of fattened beef cattle in Croatia. It has long been trading on international and local markets and was a prominent supplier to Agrokor.

The financial problems facing Croatia’s biggest private company have brought sleepless nights to the boss of this firm to which Agrokor now owes 1.5 million euros.

“It would be unthinkable if I cannot collect this debt," Sirjan told BIRN. “We are all in a very difficult position.”

Like many other small farms that supplied Agrokor with meat, vegetables, fruits and other produce, Sirjan hoped that when the Croatian government on April 10 took control of the troubled giant, it would provide reassurance for Agrokor’s various suppliers and creditors who are owed a total of over 5 billion euros.

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