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Andrej Beslać, Managing Director at Mlekoprodukt, Part of the Savencia Group

Top Quality is Our Vision

Mlekoprodukt, a part of the Savencia Group, employs about 300 people and processes 30 million litres of milk annually. The company is continuously progressing and growing thanks to the innovations it brings to production and the very focused and creative development of its Biser brand

On the way to number one position on the market, we are looking at specialising the factory in premium semi-solid and processed cheeses, positioning the best products and services for consumers and finally, an important breakthrough in the HORECA system using the wealth of products from the Savencia Group, announces Andrej Beslać

You are often quoted as the most successful privatisation in Serbia. How did Savencia opt for Serbia and how did taking over the company go?

– It is true that the privatisation of our company is cited as a good example primarily because the staff and their satisfaction were in focus. 

Our jobs are safe, there were no redundancies after privatisation. Mlekoprodukt has an owner who invests in people, production, the purchasing of milk from producers and, above all, quality. All parties in this process are winners: company, state, staff, suppliers and consumers.

Mlekoprodukt was founded in 1947, and in the 1980s it became one of the largest cheese producers in the former Yugoslavia and a market leader. With the modernisation of the plant, the process of improving quality, creating the Biser brand and launching new products on the market, Mlekoprodukt once more has resources and ambitions.

Is Serbia distinguished by any specific characteristics in the dairy sector and how has Savencia contributed to the development of this sector?

– Our company had successfully operated on its own for six decades, but Savencia has introduced new models of internal organisation that have improved our efficiency and eased in quality control systems. Furthermore, the exchange of experience with partners in the group means a lot to everyone here in Mlekoprodukt. The specificity of our market is reflected in a higher consumption of fresh dairy products, as well as fresh white cheeses. However, we are very well known in the semi-hard cheese segment, such as kačkavalj, trapist, gouda and melted cheeses.

The Savencia Group has helped us invest in the development of high quality products, as this is what consumers are looking for and recognising

Do consumers in Serbia have similar demands to consumers in France and other EU countries? What are your bestselling products?

– Each market has its own habits and is inclined towards its traditional products. Our company’s product range is adapted to local habits and we are among the most recognisable in Serbia with our products. Like everywhere in the region, we have fresh white, semi-hard and hard cheeses, while the French spend much more on soft blue cheeses. However, delicatessen cheeses, especially French, are becoming more and more popular all over the world, including in our country. Thanks to the Savencia Group, Mlekoprodukt is offering a carefully chosen range of fine cheeses from camembert and brie to creamy goat cheese and blue cheese under the Ile de France brand, as well as the famous delicacies Caprice des Dieux, Saint Aigur, Le Roustique, Tartar etc.

What are your plans for the future, how do you see Mlekoprodukt in Serbia in five or 10 years?

– With the support of the Savencia Group, we have great future ambitions to reach the first place in Serbia by market participation in cheeses by 2021. We will achieve this by preserving quality and making an effort to maintain leadership positions in semi-hard and melted cheeses, and by taking premium market segments by launching various specialities such as Trapist Selekt and the Ile de France product range.

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