Posted: 24.05.2023 15:45:00

Route to the sweet life

From 180 to 300 tonnes of products per month with a minimum of stocks: how state support helped Krasny Mozyryanin get out of the crisis and increase production

There were ups and downs in the biography of Krasny Mozyryanin confectionery factory. And this is a story about how a competent approach, the support of the state and colleagues helped one of the oldest enterprises in the Belarusian food industry to cope with the crisis. Today, it continues to delight consumers with its products, implementing development plans and setting new goals.

Trip from import

In 1913, the Narovlya landowner Gorvat built a small plant for processing fruits and vegetables grown on the estate. In the future, the semi-handicraft enterprise became a candy factory, bringing good profits. The factory has faced a lot of hardships. It was literally reborn from the ruins after the Russian Civil and the Great Patriotic Wars. However, the period of 2008-2011 was the golden time for it. About 500 tonnes of products were produced per month. The trucks that came for it lined up in long lines.
Later, the confectionery market conditions changed a lot. The expansion of imports began and, as a result, serious problems with the sale of products. For this and a number of other reasons, by 2020 the factory was going through hard times. There were difficulties with paying salaries amid falling sales, debts to suppliers of raw materials grew. The bleak prospect of bankruptcy loomed on the horizon...

Brothers in industry

By decision of the Council of Ministers, a management company was appointed for Krasny Mozyryanin. It is noteworthy that the salt workers were the first to take the confectioners in tow. Mozyrsalt helped to pay off a significant part of the debts, partially modernise the line for the production of jelly marmalade, and buy equipment for the production of marshmallows on agar-agar.
Then Spartak — colleagues in industry — became the managing company. With its help, an air conditioning system was installed in the finished product warehouse of the Narovlya factory. Enterprises have established the sale of each other’s products in their retail chains. Spartak also helps to ensure the logistics of supplies to the capital and the Minsk Region, which reduces the costs for Narovlya colleagues. And highly qualified specialists of the Gomel factory always provide advice, sharing their experience and skill sets.

With the help of sanctions

Executive Director Aleksandr Pilyak headed the enterprise in July 2020. Prior to that, he worked in the banking sector for a long time. Today he admits that he did not imagine the scale of the problems that Krasny Mozyryanin was then experiencing when he took up a new position,.
“There was 180-tonne monthly production volume, warehouse stocks — almost twice as much. At the same time, the number of employees is 400 people. I had to make painful decisions to optimise the state. I note that the specifics of confectionery production lies in a significant amount of manual labour. Therefore, the reductions did not affect those who directly produce products,” the director shares figures. 
It was not without the ‘blessing in disguise’ factor. In this case, we are talking about the effect of Western restrictions. True, not the one that those who introduced them counted on. Due to the departure of many foreign manufacturers, there was a redistribution of markets in Russia and Belarus. A significant part of the counters was freed from imports. At the same time, Krasny Mozyryanin significantly increased exports, which now account for almost a third of production. About 100 tonnes of delicacies are shipped monthly to Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Last year, deliveries to the foreign market brought almost two million dollars. This is a good result for a small business. After all, a couple of years ago, the volume of exports barely exceeded $1 million.

Before and after

The complex of measures taken has borne fruit. Now Krasny Mozyryanin produces about 300 tonnes of products per month. In fact, all of it is shipped at once. Carryover inventory is kept to a minimum.
According to the results of the last year and in the first quarter of the current year, all the main indicators were met. Accounts payable and receivable decreased significantly. The average salary in the enterprise today is Br1440. This is more than double what it was three years ago. This contributed to the reduction in staff turnover.
The enterprise has been actively developing industrial tourism since last autumn. Almost 2,700 people have already used the opportunity to see how their favourite treats are made. However, every month the number of applicants is growing.

In the process of implementation

The factory does not forget about the prospects, continuing to solve everyday production problems. The enterprise is included in the state programme to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Thanks to this, this year Krasny Mozyryanin will receive Br3.6 million to install a new line for the production of replicated iris. An engineering company has been identified to accompany the investment project, and a tender is being prepared for the purchase of equipment. It is planned to launch the line by the beginning of next year. The expected effect is an increase in the current volume of production by almost a third. As well as the creation of 15 new jobs. This is a lot for a small Narovlya.
There are also plans to increase the production of marshmallows on agar-agar. There are all preconditions and reserves for this. If earlier 1–2 tonnes of goodies were sold per month, now it is already six. And the available capacities make it possible to increase this figure by more than three times.
“We are very grateful to everyone who helped us in difficult times: both our colleagues in the food industry and the state represented by local authorities. In addition to its contribution to the economy, the enterprise has an obvious social significance. Today it is difficult to imagine Narovlya and Krasny Mozyryanin without each other. Many people work here for generations, forming continuous labour dynasties. Therefore, the enterprise assists the city in landscaping and gardening, and the development of social infrastructure. All this, like our products, we do for people,” Aleksandr Pilyak says.

By Ruslan Proleskovsky
Photos by Ivan Yarivanovich, BELTA