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Naslovnica arrow English arrow Sheep and codpieces – strong points of Lika's fair trade
Sheep and codpieces – strong points of Lika's fair trade
Author:Mirela Buturović;Translated by:Makso Herman   
Nedjelja, 08 Siječanj 2012

Adut ličkog "fair trade-a"
Even though it possesses enormous potential, Lika is currently Croatia’s least affluent region, primarily due to the war and recent social and economic problems. At the moment, the region has the weakest economical growth rate and the highest unemployment rate in all of Croatia. The Cenzur Plus Association for the Promotion of Human rights and Media Rights from Split has vowed to put an end to this negative trend.

Their project entitled “Together for higher employment and social inclusion” works toward the economic recovery of women from rural and war-stricken areas, and there’s no better place to start from than Lika. The project has been recognized by other partner organizations: the Prospero Association from Gračac, the Nit Women’s Association from Korenica, the Tara Association from Ličko Petrovo Selo, the Donji Lapac Women’s Group and the Split Technological Center, all of whom have offered their help.The project will empower and educate Lika women through numerous free courses (computers, foreign languages, pottery, sewing and weaving, felting wool, and tourist guide courses) so as to raise their self-confidence and allow them to become more independent in their work through the newly formed Society or on their own on the labor market. 

The active inclusion of women as a means of revitalizing and promoting Lika

The courses and the founding of a Society will entice a more active inclusion of women and their families into the community; enable them to adjust to the labor market and its demands, as well as finally strengthen the tourism promotion of the currently neglected Lika.This project will join a large number of partner organizations, women’s organizations from Lika, local administrative bodies, entrepreneurs and designers in a common effort to revitalize and promote the region of Lika.

Codpieces and sheep – award-winning souvenirs

The potential is great: Lika’s indigenous and original souvenirs have already won awards and become famous all around the world. Prospero’s souvenir sheep have been awarded with the prestigious Zlatna kuna, while the Tara Association’s codpieces are already well-known in distant parts of the world, such as Japan. Through these original, ecological and indigenous products, the region of Lika can find its place not only on the Croatian market, but also on the world’s. Tourism is the foundation of Lika’s economic growth.

The region is home to two Croatian National Parks (Plitvička jezera and Sjeverni Velebit). Lika’s tourist potential also lies in its vicinity to popular tourist destinations in Dalmatia (the Zadar coastline) and good traffic connections to the coast. Lika is Croatia’s leading region when it comes to protected natural heritage (over 58% of Croatia’s national parks and nature parks areas are located right here, while the remaining 42% of protected areas are located in the other 19 Croatian counties).

A Society based on fair trade principles

“Plans for the future development of the Lika Society will be formed in the following months, during the later stages of our project implementation. First we have to begin to cooperate with a larger number of associations from Lika, officially form a Society, develop a strategic and business plan, plan and design our product offer, create a brand, design promotional materials and lobby for a better positioning of original and traditional souvenirs and similar socially beneficial initiatives, as well as finally start developing prototypes for our products”, said Neda Milišić from the Cenzur Plus Association from Split. 

The project is based on the principles of fair trade and the formation of a Society, thus introducing a fresh partnership approach and new entrepreneurial models. Its aims are primarily socially sensitive, and not focused on maximizing profits. All profits will be reinvested in socially beneficial projects or production expansion and creating new jobs, products and services. The project is an innovative way of mobilizing resources and improving the quality of life in local communities, which should ultimately be the goal of every such project. 

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