The project will focus on the establishment of highly visible centres for purchasers of fresh produce in line with west European practice, with the aim of: (a) providing year-round supply; (b) promoting quality improvements; and (c) improving hygiene control.
The proposed project aims to improve the efficiency of wholesaling of fresh food produce in the six largest cities in Croatia and an area yet to be identified. This will be achieved by infrastructure investment in five existing wholesale markets (Metkovic, Osijek, Rijeka, Split and Zadar) and one newly established wholesale market (Zagreb) and through the establishment of a National Wholesale Market Company, which will promote and coordinate the development of these markets.
The project is part of a series of similar food infrastructure operations financed by the EBRD. The project supports the process of transition to a market economy and promotes private sector development. Through the provision of public infrastructure for use by the emerging private sector, the project will: (i) enhance competition in the trade of fresh produce; (ii) open new business opportunities for private traders, intermediaries and transport companies; and (iii) promote domestic and international market outlets for private agricultural producers.
The borrower will be the Republic of Croatia. To facilitate the development of wholesale markets, the Croatian Government has created the National Agricultural Wholesale Market Company. This will receive the Bank's loan from the state and on-lend the proceeds to up to seven wholesale market companies, and will also invest equity contributed by the state in each of the market companies.
A loan of US$ 19.3 million (ECU 17.5 million).
Estimated at US$ 39.6 million (ECU 36.0 million).
The project involves the establishment of a central wholesale market in Zagreb and of six municipal and regional markets in Metkovic, Osijek, Rijeka/Matulji, Spli, Zadar and an area yet to be identified. Market facilities have been planned in areas that are designated for industrial or commercial activities.
The project was screened as 'B/1', requiring an environmental audit and an environmental analysis to investigate any environmental or health and safety issues associated with the existing sites and any potential issues associated with the proposed development. An environmental report was reviewed, which raises issues that are typical for wholesale markets, including solid waste and waste-water management, nuisance from odours, noise, dust and traffic, pest management, workers' health and safety, the use of coolants in refrigeration, potentially existing liabilities due to soil and groundwater contamination by previous or neighbouring activities, and overall environmental management.
On the basis of the combined environmental audit and analysis, an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) will be prepared, which will be agreed with the Bank to address the environmental issues that may arise as a result of the future activities, and to mitigate any existing liabilities. As part of the requirements of the Bank, the company will be implementing the EAP and reporting to the Bank on a regular basis on progress made in this respect. Requirements will also include annual reporting on the environment and health and safety and immediate notification of any materially significant accidents or incidents.
Technical cooperation funding will be used for project implementation support.
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