An excellent offering

It’s not just an exemplary approach to a quality product range that secures Balticovo’s continued success, but also its unique ability to listen and adapt to varied and ever changing demands in its individual markets

Established in 1972 as a  state owned poultry farm  and becoming 100 per cent  privately owned in 1994,  Latvian-based egg producer Balticovo  has grown considerably to become the  largest of its kind in Northern Europe.  With around 250 people currently  employed, the company’s 2.6 million  laying hens produce 1.7 million eggs  a day and 600 million a year, allowing  Balticovo to provide a diverse and  market specific offering to its domestic  and export markets, to which 70 per  cent of its total sales can attributed. As  a by-product of its own feed production,  the company is also a major producer of  rapeseed oil in Baltics.

Since last being featured in FoodChain back in 2011, Balticovo  has made significant leaps forward  in expanding its global footprint and  product range. “Two major investments  have been into building the boiled egg  plant and rapeseed oil pressing facility,”  begins Commercial Director, Toms  Auskaps. “Both facilities really help to  broaden our spectrum of production abilities. For instance, we have started  producing mayonnaise and this concept  came from the fact that we are a unique  company producing the two main ingredients – eggs and oil – and this  allows us to produce using fresh eggs,  as opposed to powder. So far we have a  normal and low fat option being supplied  to food producers as an ingredient,  but developing and investing for retail  channels is something that we may  consider as we move forward.”
Balticovo Issue 108b
Other product developments have  been into liquid egg products, with  Balticovo launching a range of unique  products into this segment. “We have  developed the portfolio with a defined  strategy in place to provide the final customer with high convenience and  ready-to-use products,” explains Toms. “As such, we are very proud of our food technologists who have made a  revolutionary liquid pancake mix, which  has a 30 per cent egg content and uses  rice flour to make them gluten free.  Recently, this recipe has been further  adapted with the addition of whipping  cream, which makes the mix lactose  free as well. In the same range we  have also launched a liquid egg white  product, which we have made available  through retail channels in line with the  growing healthy-eating trend towards low fat, high protein products. As well as this  we have also developed a scrambled  egg mix for the food service industry.”

With a growing product range and  a strong export reputation across the  Baltic regions, Scandinavia, as well  as other key markets across Europe,  the Middle East and US, Balticovo has  established a particular strength in  its flexibility. “We consider this to be  a core pillar of the company,” Toms  says. “It is our ability to apply different strategies to different market segments  and different parts of the world. With a  very professional sales team we have  long-standing client relationships and  dedicated people who understand the  individual nuances of local markets.  Therefore, we are incredibly market  sensitive and able to react quickly and  effectively to changing market conditions  and local demands.”

One example of this ability came  with the recent avian influenza crisis  in the usually self-sufficient US, which  forced the country to open up its import  channels for egg products. “We limited  our export to the US to 20 per cent of our total production as we didn’t want to lose focus of our core markets and  we know US egg market fluctuation  is only going to be temporary, but we  were able to react to this demand gap  effectively,” outlines Toms. “By thinking  ahead in this respect we have been  able to make the most of this boom in  exports and gained a lot of experience.”  Balticovo’s reaction to help fill the  demand gap is not only testament to its market flexibility, but also its high quality  standards.

“In food production quality is one  of the most important issues to pay  continued focus to,” Toms continues.  “We manage this from start to finish,  across a number of areas and implement  continuous improvement practices to  ensure quality is the very best it can be.  It starts off with the grain and our long standing  experience in feed production  that allows us to provide the best raw  materials to our hens. Secondly, we pay attention to the human element, making  sure we have the best veterinary services  and technicians maintaining the health  of the birds. This of course is followed  by high levels of inspection and quality  control throughout the processing of  eggs and associated products and on  into logistics. We understand that without  this focus on quality and continuous  improvement there is no future for us  retaining our strong positions across the  globe.”

Looking ahead Balticovo looks to  continue the progress it is making with  a diversified product portfolio in order to  expand its market footprint. Already well  established in the Baltic countries, it is  making efforts to strengthen its position  in Scandinavia where it has already  established a good reputation for quality  products. Elsewhere, the company is  looking further afield into the emerging  consumer markets of the Far East, the  Middle East and Africa and exploring opportunities for adding value to those  individual markets. Ultimately, a continued  commitment to listening to its markets,  providing quality, innovative products and  continuing its strategy to improve across  all processes is key to Balticovo building  on its history of success and becoming a  major player in the global market.