Fruitnet.com's partner publications FRESH PRODUCE JOURNAL, EUROFRUIT, ASIAFRUIT and AMERICAFRUIT have teamed up to publish a series of special interviews to coincide with the FIFA World Cup, featuring a member of the fresh produce industry from each of the 32 nations involved in the tournament.
Today it's Neven Kurtovic of Univeg Croatia and Mexico's Oswaldo Pulido Mendoza of Splendor Produce ahead of their teams' Group A clash tomorrow (23 June):
What is your firm’s world-beating service or product?
Neven Kurtovic: We are a ‘bridge’ between Univeg sources worldwide and the end customer in the area of south-eastern Europe, as well as a bridge between the growers from SE Europe and the rest of the EU market via the Univeg network.
Oswaldo Pulido Mendoza: We provide blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and avocados.
What does the World Cup mean to people in your country?
NK: As a small country of just 4.2 million people, being in Brazil among the biggest and strongest football countries is already a success. This gives us a chance to increase our visibility, market our tourism industry and finally gives us an additional motivation to fight on the global market.
OPM: Football in Mexico is very important as it is the main national sport, so the World Cup means a lot – and not simply in a sporting way. It’s also about getting together with family and friends.
How do you think your national team will fare in Brazil?
NK: It is important for Croatian players to show a high level of motivation and excellent team-work. Having this in combination with the experience of players like Luka Modrić, of Real Madrid, Mario Mandukić, of Bayern Munich, and Ivan Rakitić, of Sevilla (but on his way to Barcelona), Croatia can go as far as the final.
OPM: We always have high expectations of the national team and hope this World Cup can be ours.