Suziria Group has been developing Ukraine’s pet product market for almost 30 years. The Kalush facility is its second asset, while the first one is located in Kharkiv and continues to operate in limited security conditions. Russia’s full-scale military invasion played a significant role in accelerating production capacity expansion. Manufacture stopped for a while on February 24 due to active shellings of Kharkiv, and the final decision to build a new facility in the west of Ukraine, where it’s safer, was made in May. The team acted very quickly, signing an agreement on the lease of industrial premises on May 10, launching a rodent and bird treat workshop in test mode on July 29 and commissioning the production of grain feed in September.
‘Launching a modern production facility in times of war is extremely difficult. But nothing is impossible if people love and know their business. We strongly decided to continue to invest in the pet industry, economy, and Ukraine even in such a tough time. Our team built everything practically from scratch in less than four months. We purchased new, modern equipment to make pet food and treats. Our workshops were built following the lean production principle, which is based on the constant reduction of expenses that take up resources but hold no value for the end user. After all, everything is about efficiency these days’, says Polina Kosharna, co-owner and head of the supervisory board of Suziria Group.
One of the brands manufactured by the Kalush facility is Priroda, which has been present in the Ukrainian market for more than 25 years and was the first pet food brand to receive the ISO 22000 international standard certification. The Kalush facility currently serves the domestic demand for bird and rodent food but plans to start exporting soon. In late 2021, Pryroda products were actively exported from the Kharkiv facility to ten countries: Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Poland, Spain, the USA, Jordan, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The new facility employed as many as 23 people in late September, all of whom are locals trained by experts from Kharkiv. It is designed to provide 45 jobs, and this number will increase as production expands going forward. In this way, the company supports locals, creating new jobs and contributing to the town’s infrastructure in a time of war.