I would like to share a few words about Cromaris and our industry.
I find enormous potential in development of aquaculture industry in general. As well, I see Cromaris, part of Adris grupa, as one of the leaders of future development of Mediterranean aquaculture, contributing with knowledge, experience and innovation to the building of the future of our industry.
In Cromaris we believe in things that other do not.
In 2009 when we said we are going to produce 5.000 tons until 2015 (our production was at the time around 1.000, and total Croatia about 3.000). Many laughed at us. In 2014 our production and sales exceeded 5.000 tons. When we started, we communicated our belief “Not every sea bass is the same”. We are going to build a Cromaris brand that is going to be a synonym of the quality in the industry. Many have commented that we are not aware of the industry principles and that it is the wrong way… Today most of the consumers and every customer in Europe knows about Cromaris and the quality we offer.
When we started with our activities in Italy, biggest world market for sea bass and sea bream, customers told us: “We have expensive Italian fish and price oriented Greek/Turkish fish on the shelves. What do we need you for? We do not even have space to put you on the shelf.” Today Cromaris is the second player in the Italian market for sea bass and sea bream with more than 8% volume market share. In 2019 Cromaris had 3,2% of the value market share of the Mediterranean aquaculture in the world.
In 2019/2020 we have reached our second strategic target – 10.000 tons of production. And we did it sustainably – taking into account also stable financial performance of the company. Yes, there are many stories of growth in our industry, some of them even faster than Cromaris. Unfortunately, many of them end up in bankruptcy selling fish for lower price then the price of production. This is not our way… We want to stay here for long time, which means we need to have profitable growth. Our goal is to guarantee highest quality level to our consumers and customers on a long-term based co-operation. Today we are convinced that we are going to produce numerous Mediterranean species in the future. When we said to one of the leading nutritionists for fish feed in Europe, about 6-7 years ago, that we are going to produce Dentex Dentex he told us that we are going to end up with one big fish in a cage because they are going to eat each other. Starting next year, this species is going to became the regular offer in Cromaris assortment.
So, my learning and my message is do not believe what others tell you if you are convinced you can achieve your goals. Be different, be innovative, be recognizable. No big success was ever achieved by doing things in the way everybody said they should be done.
Although Cromaris tradition started more than 40 years ago, as one of the pioneers of Mediterranean industry, most important events for us started in 2008 when Adris grupa, our owner, acquired four companies producing sea bass and seabream and in 2009 merged them into Cromaris. Strategy of building Cromaris brand and growing into important European player was defined. Investments followed… All farms were equipped with most modern technology, new hatchery and new processing facilities were built.
In parallel our communication with our consumers started as well, as well as partnership development with our customers. Our “Fresh concept” was developed to deliver fish to our customers within 24 hours from harvesting. “Quality concept” was developed through unique farming conditions in Adriatic Sea and unique nutritional value that we offer to our consumers. All international certificates were implemented, including ASC sustainability standard as the final one. Few years ago, recognizing its importance “Sustainability concept” was launched. Today Cromaris is the company with highest investments in sustainable production in Mediterranean farming.
We are enormously proud on the confidence we are gaining day by day from our consumers. We are proud on the relationship we have developed with our customers. Serving a few hundred customers every day we try to do our best to build our business together with them.
We are also very proud of our employees. They are really the ones making us different compared to other companies. High loyalty to the company, great effort and experience they contribute, this is how we grow. Cromaris is based in Croatia. We also believe companies from Croatia can be European leaders in their respective industries. It is not only sports in which Croatia can be a leader. Of course, our mentality is multi-national. We employ people in Italy, Germany, France, Poland and other countries. This gives us ability to adapt to the market needs, to be close to the customers and consumers. Based on this rich knowledge base we are developing our future.
In the end, I would like to invite ambitious people that want to work in Mediterranean aquaculture industry to join us! We look for people thinking differently, having in mind consumer needs and not being afraid of the goals to become leaders in their industry. That is what we aim to be.
I am privileged to be in the position to lead Cromaris team and to be able to work and learn together with my colleagues in this exciting world.