Coca-Cola is a Name of Quality
Mrs. Meltem Metin, General Director of Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers, answers the Questions from our magazine
What products are manufactured under the Coca-Cola trademark in Kazakhstan?
Today Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers produces world-famous brands such as Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Fanta and Sprite. We also produce drinking water BonAqua and Fresca beverage. In April 2003 The Coca-Cola Company purchased Piko brand, known by everyone in Kazakhstan, from FoodMaster and from now on these juices will be also produced under The Coca-Cola Company trademark. We will distribute Piko juices in addition to our own products.
Who are the main suppliers of raw materials for your company?
The main ingredients of our products are water, concentrate and sugar. We use local water in our products; it undergoes a five-stage treatment, including additional disinfection, and its hardness is reduced by 2-2.5 times. The concentrates for our soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite come from France. We buy sugar from local manufacturers; the requirements imposed by Coca-Cola are very strict so we use only top quality sugar for our beverages.
In recent years our company has been actively involved in the import substitution programme initiated by the Kazakh Government. I ought to say that this is a direct result of the steadily improving performance of our local suppliers of products and services.
Apart from the increasing our purchases of raw materials from local manufacturers, Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers provides consultancy to them on improving their quality assurance systems, and encourages them to invest in expanding production and in the new equipment necessary to enable them to supply higher quality products to the Kazakh market.
Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers is very careful to maintain high quality standards in all aspects of our business, from production to the choice of containers, labels and promotional materials. Today we mostly use products and services from local suppliers.
What is the current production capacity of Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers, and are you planning to increase it?
Our existing facilities allow us to manufacture 110 million litres of beverages annually. However, we are always seeking to increase our production capacity. The company has invested US$2 million in the purchase and installation of some new machinery and equipment which will increase our capacity to 145 million litres. In 2005 we plan to build and launch a new production complex which will boost output even further to 250 million litres. We are currently preparing a feasibility study for this investment project, selecting the building contractors, etc.
Which companies, i.e. Kazakh or foreign, will be awarded contracts, and what are your selection criteria?
A contractor will be selected from five applicants on a competitive basis. Both Kazakh and foreign building companies will be invited to bid. To date we have not accepted any proposals yet. Bearing in mind the very specific requirements for building the Coca-Cola plant, the key selection criterion is that the successful applicant must be experienced in building either beverage facilities or breweries.
How many staff does Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers have at present? What is the outlook for creating new jobs?
I should make special mention of the fact that only five people from our 400 staff are foreigners. Every year some 60-70 people join the company, as a result of increasing sales and the development of our distribution network in Kazakhstan.
Your company has been active in Kazakhstan for quite a long time. What can you say about the country’s investment climate? What has changed over the years?
Kazakhstan’s investment climate is improving year by year, and we can now give a positive assessment of it. We feel as a local company because we are treated equally.
Kazakh companies have by now accumulated sufficient experience and knowledge to be able to offer products and services to high quality standards.
While The Coca-Cola Company is a global company, the Coca-Cola business in Kazakhstan, as in each country where it operates, is a local business. Coca-Cola beverages are produced locally, employing Kazakhstan citizens.
Coca-Cola was first produced in Kazakhstan in 1995. Since then, Coca-Cola has continually introduced new beverage product and package innovations onto the Kazakhstan market. As a result, Coca-Cola is the leading soft drinks producer in Kazakhstan, its products representing approximately 38 per cent of carbonated soft drink sales in Kazakhstan.
Today, Coca-Cola beverages are produced and sold in the country by the Company’s authorized local bottling partner, JV Coca-Cola Almaty Bottlers LLP, which was founded in 1994 as a joint venture between Tonus LLP, Kazakhstani company and Efes Invest, a member of the biggest Turkish beverage conglomerate Efes Beverage Group, which is 100% owned by Turkish Anadolu Group. Coca-Cola Almaty Bottler owns and operates one bottling plant, located in Almaty, two sales and distribution centers, located in Astana and Shymkent, and independent distributors all over Kazakhstan.
A local service office, Representation Office Coca-Cola CIS Services Ltd., was registered in June 1997 and focuses on marketing the Company’s brands locally.
The Coca-Cola system directly employs approximately 400 people in Kazakhstan. Besides this Coca-Cola business indirectly generates employment for a number of additional people in other, related industries in the wider economy.
In April 2003, The Coca-Cola Company signed the contract with Food Master Company and acquired the brand Piko in Kazakhstan. After making some re- structurization, starting from July technical specialists of Coca-Cola started to control whole production process and supply chain.
In each country where Coca-Cola produces its beverages, the Coca-Cola system adheres not only to national laws on food processing and labelling, but also to its strict standards, set by the specialized quality management system.
In February 2001, Coca-Cola joined together with the Ministry of Culture, Information and Public Accord, and Khabar Agency to preserve the musical heritage of Kazakhstan by setting up a new Asyl Mura project. The program includes prospecting work, systematization, restoration and digital refinement, recording on modern audio carriers of the best folk, classical and modern music of Kazakhstan. (www.asylmura.kz).
In 2002, for the first time in Kazakhstan, Coca-Cola initiated a Sprite Student Basketball League organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the National Federation of Basketball. In cooperation with the municipality of Almaty City Coca-Cola set up and run an Internet Training Center, located in Student’s Palace.
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