The Armenian producer of natural juices, canned vegetables and fruits can now compete for consumers across Europe and North Africa with its Noyan-brand products where expectations for food quality and safety are high.
Like other producers who rely heavily on exports within the region it was hit hard by the 2014 recession in Russia. Sales in that market fell by almost a third.
Euroterm, with annual sales of around $8m, needed to diversify export markets and become an attractive partner for retailers in the European Union.
Vahe Ghazaryan, general manager, said it found having high-quality produce wasn’t enough.
“Holding a certification acknowledged by the majority of international players is crucial to accessing the European Union,” he said.
“This certification has been crucial in mitigating the impact of the recession in Russia on our sales. We not only found new customers, but we strengthened relationships with large Russian supermarket networks, which also greatly value food safety.”
Ghazaryan added improvements introduced with IFC’s help contributed to more efficient production by engaging all employees and making them responsible for business results.
Since certification, Euroterm has reduced the cost of defective products by more than 40% and the cost of waste management by 15%.
The number of employees doubled over the last five years from 180 workers to between 350 and 450, depending on the season.
It is also driving higher standards across the country with other companies pursuing higher food safety standards to keep up with the competition.
Euroterm is one of 80 companies in Europe and Central Asia to have benefited from IFC’s advice for improving food safety.
Higher standards have helped companies increase sales by more than $205m and attract an estimated $270m in financing from 2010 to 2015, said IFC.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is a development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.