As part of the Regional Development Cooperation Culture Fair, for the second year in a row, Petrinja became the center of numerous OPGs from Sisak-Moslavina County. At more than 40 stands, visitors could enjoy and explore, taste, and buy different products: from ajvar, zimnica, teas, and hazelnuts to gummy candies and licitars.
The daily program of the Fair began with the welcome and greeting speeches of the organizers, who emphasized the importance of holding a Fair of this type where local producers have the opportunity to sell and promote their products, but also to connect with each other for future cooperation.
“Ever since the earthquake, we have witnessed how the people of Bania are big-hearted people. This year, we are holding the second Regional Fair in Petrinja, and the number of exhibitors and the variety of products at their stands shows the potential of this community. We are glad that together with our partners the Serbian National Council and with the patronage of the City of Petrinja and the Tourist Board, as well as our collaborators Zamah Foundation and ACT Group, we have shown that only together we can contribute to a sustainable tomorrow, and we hope that this Fair will become a tradition and something else that The town of Petrinja is recognizable for” points out Ivana Kumrić, coordinator of the Fair in front of the SOLIDARNA Foundation.
The representative of the Serbian National Council, Mr. Boris Milošević, also welcomed and greeted all those present: guests, visitors, and exhibitors and wished them a successful and fruitful day of the Fair.
Some of the exhibitors participated in the Fair for the first time this year, and some, such as the Negoslav Women’s Association, are participating for the second year.
“For us, the fair is important because we have the opportunity to present ourselves in another county and thus introduce participants and exhibitors to our work and activities. As it is important for us to present as many women’s associations from our area as possible, representatives of the women’s association “Zlatne ruke” from Markušica will be with us at the fair, says Biljana Pejić, president of the Association of Negoslav women, and at the fair they exhibited creative works created by their workshops, promotional materials, food and drink characteristic of the area they come from.
Panel discussion, civic class, and cultural and entertainment program
As part of the first part of the Fair, a panel discussion “Resilience and community development” was held with prominent representatives of cooperatives, decision-makers, and producers. One of the panelists, Mr. Tomislav Drobac, director of Terra Frux d.o.o., a company that produces and sells berries under the Borovella brand, both on the domestic and foreign markets, emphasized the importance of cooperation between small and large producers and emphasized that for community development, it is important to technologically improve the products of small producers and direct them to additional education to improve the quality of their products in order to break into the larger market.
The program continued in the form of a civic hour on the topic “Urban regeneration of Petrinja after the earthquake”, in which the results of the project of the City of Petrinja and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development were presented. Karla Pudar on behalf of the SOLIDARNA Foundation and Ozana Palić on behalf of the Urbanex company presented the scenario for the development of the city of Petrinja based on the expertise of the urban planning companies Urbanex and KCAP and the SOLIDARNA Foundation.
“With all the information we collected from residents who participated in a series of workshops and focus groups, the focus was on how to brand Petrinja in the environment. Petrinja has an excellent position, it is close to Zagreb, but it is also close to other cities that have a clear role in the economic sense. Therefore, a role in agricultural and green development has been envisioned for Petrinja, which corresponds to all the needs expressed by the residents of Petrinja at workshops and focus groups,” said Ozana Palić from the Urbanex company.
In the second part of the daily program, the ACT group presented a series of educational workshops for OPGs and small entrepreneurs on the following topics: readiness for the market and entering the market, starting processing and expanding the production line, entering the product into the store, which will be held in days after the Fair.
While the adult visitors enjoyed the colors of autumn and the variety of stands with agricultural products, as well as handicrafts and medicinal plants, the youngest visitors spent the day having fun at the bouncy castle and sweet stands with candy canes, cotton candy, and candies. The afternoon program of the Fair took place with the performances of local and visiting cultural art societies, the performance of the choir ZborHor, and the end of the 2nd Regional Fair was marked by the performance of the local band Ruswaj.
The holding of the 2nd Regional Development Cooperation Culture Fair, the number of exhibitors and visitors, indicates to us that it is necessary to provide support and continue to work together to promote products and services.
“The fair contributes to the revitalization of Bania by expanding the network and providing opportunities for farmers to progress, improve, and catch up with world trends. Such events are of exceptional importance, given the fact that Banija is still exposed to the negative consequences of the earthquake and lags behind the average rate of development of the rest of Croatia. ” – said Mila Tatović Ramljak, head of the SNV Development Department.