Coffee beans

Creating success in the Balkans

Oslo, November 10, 2014
The food process industry in the Balkans was looking for ways to improve the quality and the quantity of its products. Yara sent a team of specialized agronomists to the region. The rest is a success history.


Yara has enjoyed notable success in the Balkan market - where Yara has no local offices - by creatively approaching the food industry and helping their suppliers boost yields. "Since all of our sales in the Balkans go through authorized distributors, we have had to differentiate ourselves from competitors and strengthen the Yara brand," explains Tatjana Uljanic, Sales and Marketing Yara Hungary. "In order to successfully position Yara, we decided to directly approach the food industry to help our distributors boost sales."

Sharing knowledge

The Balkan food industry tends to have their own food production, or have this organized by partners or large associations of food producers. "Our goal was to help producers achieve better and higher quality yields and thus ensure the demand for our products at the most important level, by agricultural producers," Tatjana says.

The story began in Croatia, with the Franck company, the largest producer of potato chips in the region. "Fresh potato producers working with Franck for years were using the same fertilizers and were not having satisfactory results, quality-wise, especially in unfavorable seasons," Tatjana says.

"We recognized that we should improve the knowledge of the growers first of all, another thing was to improve the knowledge of the network working with agriculture," says Balkans Area Manager Stevan Mesarovic, who has enjoyed tremendous success convincing customers of the advantages of Yara products.

Special growing bonus

"Stevan and I are agronomists and we know all the advantages of Yara fertilizer, but it is a big challenge to transfer that to local growers because fertilizer was just something that they were buying, they were never thinking about the fertilizer being connected to knowledge or an agronomist approach," Tatjana adds.

Tatjana and Stevan demonstrated Yara products and crop nutrition concepts to growers, and opted for full cooperation and monitoring of production for producers who were willing to change their technology of fertilization.

Basing recommendations on soil analysis, the results became obvious for the increasingly enthusiastic growers and industry. Yield in 2014 was significantly higher than usual for the normal Franck production area.

"They had to rent a warehouse for the storage of surplus production," Tatjana says. "With complete coverage of their own production for the first time, Franck now had the opportunity to offer fresh potato chips for sale to other manufacturers. And this year, for the first time, growers have received a special bonus for excellent product quality."

The success has had a major influence in the region, and the team has spread the formula to Serbia and Bosnia, and other industries, such as milling and fruit. They are now being contacted by other growers seeking to share in the 'Yara approach'.

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