Kormotech, a Ukrainian company controlling over a third of its home pet food market, has just announced building a production facility in Kėdainiai, Lithuania. The Lithuanian subsidiary bearing the same name will operate in the Kėdainiai Free Economic Zone and employ around 70 specialists. The Ukrainian company intends to invest more than €6 million in the new plant.
Founded in 2003 in Lviv, Kormotech produces both wet and dry food for cats and dogs. The new plant in Kėdainiai FEZ will specialize in wet food for cats and dogs, and will have a high degree of automation due to modern equipment imported from Denmark and Germany. The annual capacity for the new plant is estimated at 20,000 tons. The plant will open in 2019, and the company is already on the lookout for skilled engineers, food technologists and other specialists.
The company’s products are already exported to 16 countries, including France and the Netherlands. According to CEO of Kormotech Rostislav Vovk, the plant in Kėdainiai FEZ is an important step in the company’s plans to further expand presence on the world arena.
“We plan to grow on European, Scandinavian and American markets. In Lithuania, we will manufacture the product under our own brands (Optimeal, CLUB 4 PAWS, Miau!, Gav!) and under private labels for our partners,” Rostislav Vovk, CEO of Kormotech, states. “Lithuania has a strong geographic advantage, and the Free Economic Zone provides attractive conditions for doing business, in particular, tax breaks for first 10 years of operations.”
Back in Lviv, where Kormotech employs 500 people, the company is known not only for being one of the TOP-5 taxpayers in the region, but also for its involvement in multiple social projects. Kormotech promotes a humane attitude towards animals among schoolchildren and adults, fosters the professional development of Ukrainian veterinary medicine and supports shelters in different parts of Ukraine. In 2017, the company launched a school for veterinarians and breeders and introduced an innovative educational course for students in all schools of Lviv.
“The Kėdainiai Free Economic Zone was the last FEZ in Lithuania without a foreign investor. The arrival of this first FDI project will encourage other foreign investors that are looking for a manufacturing location. On the other hand, it is important to continuously improve. First of all, the region must focus on preparing specialists needed for high value added jobs in Kėdainiai, and vocational schools must adopt apprenticeship as a form of education, so when the investor comes, it will find specialists that do not have to be retrained,” says Virginijus Sinkevičius, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy.
Mantas Katinas, Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, believes that Kormotech will be a valuable addition to the business ecosphere in Kėdainiai region.
“Kormotech will boost the development of the pet food supply chain in Lithuania, with around a third of necessary raw materials sourced from local producers and suppliers,” states Mantas Katinas.
Kormotech was established in Lviv in 2003, and just one year later it introduced its own brands to the Ukrainian market. The company currently operates two plants in Ukraine – one specializing in wet, and the other in dry pet food. Kormotech’s products are shipped to 16 markets, and in 2018 it received the permission to export to the US.