Lika is a kind of an ecological core of Croatia that, beside its unique nature beauty, has just as unique cuisine, with products which are made within this ecological oasis. Anyone who visits Lika Destination should have the opportunity to completely feel, experience, but also try the specialties from Lika. Lika Destination encompasses the areas of Lika-Senj, Zadar and Karlovac counties and creates a naturally well-rounded whole. Seeing as over 60% of the destination is protected trough some form of protection in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act, Lika Destination is branded as a destination of protected nature areas.
Seeing as our cause was to create a distinguishable destination as a gastro-destination, within the project for integral agricultural development INTEGRA LIKA 2020, as well as to showcase the exceptional quality of selected products and to protect those products as such, a complete regional quality system for food, drinks and souvenirs under the name Lika Quality was developed. The Lika Quality mark was designed as a combination of the traditional Lika cap and the international mark for quality – the letter Q. The mark was protected in the State Office for Intellectual Property of the Republic of Croatia as a guarantee mark. Its holder is the Local Action Group Lika, and the project is led by the Cluster Lika Destination.
There are 27 producers from the area of Lika Destination from the same area, and they have made altogether 98 products in 10 different categories, which have undergone the system’s scrumptious selection. The mentioned mark is, accordingly to the pre-defined rules, given to the products which are made in the area of Lika Destination in accordance with all the legislation, and are characterized by a higher degree in quality, as well as based on tradition. As a result of the cooperation between the Cluster Lika Destination and the LIKA COOP agricultural cooperative, a common selling spot for all Lika Quality producers was organized in the Plitvice Lakes National Park in June 2018. The store was located in the most visited touristic location in Croatia, a location visited by 10% of all the tourists who come to visit Croatia in one year.
This way, all family farms were directly included in the touristic development, seeing as tourists now had the chance to taste some of the locally produced products, which are high in demand. There is also a high demand for the locally made products from restaurateurs, because their guests are interested in trying them. This is exactly the direction in which the certification system Lika Quality is headed. The next step is certifying the restaurants which will offer their guests meals made from the products with the Lika Quality mark. This way, the high quality locally produced products enter the category of premium products, and their representation on the local market and in restaurants is encouraged. This is a way to finally reward the dedicated local producers and to ensure them a market to place their products, and Lika will go further on its way of branding as an exceptional gastro-destination on the touristic map of the world.
The Lika Quality system is guided by the sustainable development philosophy; it encourages a greater extent of local production and consumption. Tis way, it ensures work places for the locals and their family farms. The system guarantees quality and local production based on traditions, and the local producers are included in the touristic development.