The company Foodland has invested about EUR 3 million in the construction of anew factory, and this facility in the village of Igros, in the vicinity of Kopaonik, should be put into operation as early as in May. In this way, the producer of high-quality food products will quadruple its capacities.
- The new factory will span about 5,000 square meters, and its annual processing capacity will amount to 12,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, while our current facility in Kobilj near Brus has the capacity of only 3,000 tonnes – Foodland owner and CEO Vaso Lekic announces to eKapija.
eKapija: How many people will get a job at the new factory?
- Foodland currently employs about 170 people, and we still don't know for sure how many new workers will be hired because the food market we are operating in is very fluctuant, so that we will have to adapt on the fly. At this moment I can assume that between 30 and 40 new workers will be hired.
However, direct employment is only one of the aspects, whereas indirect employment, which will be enabled by the opening of our new factory, will be much more significant.
eKapija: The Club of Business Journalists has presented you with the Manager of the Year 2011 award for hiring women from rural areas. How much will the new facility of Foodland contribute to the development of the Kopaonik region?
- Our intention is to have the entire agriculture in the surroundings of Brus oriented towards our new factory, so that people can stay in their village, market their products through our company and have no need to leave their home in order to find a better job.
When it comes to hiring women, our current factory employs about 60 female workers, and we also hire additional 200 women at the peak of the season.
eKapija: Where do you plan to market your products from the future factory in Igros?
- All products from the new factory will be sold abroad because our primary motive for opening a new factory is to increase the company's competitiveness in the global market.
eKapija: Where does Foodland export its products? Do you plan to conquer some new markets in 2012?
- We are present in 25 markets, including Canada, the USA, Sweden, Germany, France, Slovenia, England, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, China, etc.
This year we want to strengthen and stabilize our positions in all of these markets, primarily in Russia, Germany, the USA and Canada.
eKapija: Foodland is making jams, fruit preserves, syrups, fruit wines, winter stores, organic juices... Do you plan to surprise consumers with a new product in the near future?
- Of course, but we will keep it a surprise.