Yesterday, at the Frigo Bonsai purchase station in Opuzen, a presentation of the Croatian autochthonous brand was held, with certified Neretva mandarins, which Tommy doo was the first to introduce in the offer.The beginning of the story begins when on July 1, 2017, the European Commission protected the Neretva mandarin at the European level, thus recognizing its uniqueness in relation to mandarins produced in other countries. Until 2015, until recently, no Croatian mandarin producer was certified and therefore there was a possibility that this status would be lost. On November 13, 2017, two mandarin producers (Nino Šešelj and Nikola Ujdur) managed to obtain a certificate with the help of Frigo Bonsai, the Regional Development Agency DUNEA and BIOTEHNICON. Consequently, an agreement was reached with the company Tommy doo on the introduction of a certified “Neretva mandarin” in the offer of the store.President of the Neretva Association of Fruit Growers “Mandarina Opuzen”, Mr. Alenko Šešelj said that the company Frigo Bonsai had made a good and useful step and that it would certainly encourage other purchasing centers to get involved in the same story. “We were very persistent and “pushed” this process to the end. Now it is up to all of us, who are engaged in this business, production and sale of mandarins, to get a little more concrete in this story and try to nurture our product, because this is our future.”The representative of Biotehnicon, Ms. Ana Marušić Lisac, explained the sequence and importance of the whole procedure: “The label “Neretva Mandarin” was registered in 2015. Mandarin found itself in this small circle of truly special products in the European Union but also around the world, because these labels are recognized elsewhere. During the development of the specification, comparisons were made with similar products and the specificity of the Neretva mandarin was shown and proven. It is up to us, as the control body, to really follow everything that is stated in the specification from the technical point of view in the whole sequence and that in the end, by issuing the certificate we actually confirm and guarantee that such a product fully complies with all requirements of the specification.. “”Neretva Mandarin” is the first certified original product in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The protection of geographical indications of mandarin as an indigenous Croatian product is significant because it will make the Neretva Mandarin a recognizable export brand. The end customer gets a guarantee of buying a quality product from controlled breeding, and the manufacturer gets the security of product placement and the ability to achieve a better price. With this certificate, the Neretva mandarin joins the impressive list of Croatian products that are entered in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications. Some of them are: Slavonian kulen, Ogulin sauerkraut, Lika potatoes and Istrian extra virgin olive oil, Poljički soparnik…”Tommy is extremely honored to be the first to support this project of placing certified Neretva mandarins on the Croatian market. We are pleased to have achieved this through exclusive distribution, so all our customers, through the sales network, will be able to reach this commendable product. This project fits perfectly into the story of Tommy through the project “Our home” where we try to arrange with as many suppliers as possible the placement of indigenous, original, certified products and thus provide our customers with the highest quality food. We are witnessing trends in the world that quality food is trying to produce a maximum of 250 km from the placement. That’s how it used to be with us and we believe that this project will be like that again. We are honored and sure that this is just an overture to future projects on this topic.”Said Aljoša Bašić, Marketing Director of Tommy doo, and added that for Tommy doo this cooperation is extremely important because in this way the company gains the opportunity to offer proven quality products, and encourages the local eco product which is one of the components of the company’s strategy. .Producer Nikola Ujdur pointed out that the protection of the geographical indication is important, because in addition to the Neretva mandarin becoming a recognizable export brand, the end customer receives a guarantee of buying a quality product from controlled cultivation, and the producer gets security of product placement and the possibility of achieving better prices.It is primarily a higher level of mandarin processing that she deserves and that we need to nurture. The certificate is a demanding category, it is a proof of quality that will be recognizable in our stores”, Said Ujdur.