Producing chicken meat, eggs, pullet and breeding products, olive oil products, medical and organic products, KESKINOGLU is one of the leading names in the Turkish food industry. It has over a century history full of respectful success stories. It contributed to the development and modernization of the Turkish poultry industry as well as other areas it is involved. We conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Keskin Keskinoglu, Marketing Group Chairman of Keskinoglu, about their operations. Full text of the interview follows:
Would you inform us about foundation story of Keskinoglu
Founded as a chicken farm in 1963 by Ismail Keskinoglu. Keskinoglu company moved its facilities on 60 acre land in Akhisar in 1997 where 10 thousand broilers were fed. In 1997 the capacity was raised to 30 thousand tons with the new integrated poultry processing facilities. Today in these facilities, chicken meat, cooked chicken meat products and delicatessen products, pasteurized eggs and egg, viola (egg cup), egg-way female chicks, pullets, broiler chicks, organic fertilizer, olive oil and paper
based health products are produced. The company has its own cold storage and transportation company, Fem Logistics, that guarantees safe transportation of the products thorough supply chain.
Lately the company entered in fast f o o d business in 2010 with Tavvuk Restaurant in Akhisar, a facility serving 500 people both open air and under the roof sections. Chicken doner, special sauce chicken roll and BBQ are served in 11 branches. Keskinoglu is said to have 72 percent in egg market and ranks at third place in broiler production and exports its product to about 75 countries.
What is your quality policy and secret of your success?
We as Keskinoglu, listen to our customers, have close ties with them, watch and analyse developments in the market, introduce new products and are active in both domestic and export markets. We still keep the legendary business philosophy of our late founder Ismail Keskinoglu as his heritage. He had been saying us, “Always do the best and sell them at premium prices. They may found it costly but they should not mention Keskinoglu products are bad.” Quality has always priority in our company. In the half a century past of our company, we realized many firsts and innovations. Such as, chick Albanian liver, icli kofte of chicken meat, delicatessen for kids, DHA, Celenium and omega eggs and others. Bu using the Europe’s firs air cooling systems we expanded shelf life of products by 11 days. Lately, we invested about 20 million in 2012 to the technology in freezing chickens that makes them healthier. It reduced shocking time from 12 hours to 6 hours. Our ten-year’s growth was 1000 percent; ten fold increase, thanks to our higher quality. We call us “Family name of the chickens”. Chicken is your majör product. Even eggs are important. Please inform us about production process.
When they have been slaughtered in conformity of Islamic rules, they are cooled down in air-cooled tunnels and dried. They are inspected by high-resolution camera and they are sorted. They are cut in the computer controlled machinery and various parts, breasts, legs and wings are scaled an put in packages. Eggs are obtained from chickens that were fed by natural fodders in conformity of good farming practices standards. They are checked and controlled by automatic units and sorted as their sizes. Each egg has a special ID that is used to trace the production process from the very beginning to the consumption. Then they are sent to logistics warehouse to be delivered to the markets. With data they can get in web site, keskinoglu. com.tr, consumers and businesses can check and follow the source, the kind of the chicken, their cages, feeds they have given, veterinary that control the process and the person responsible for packaging. Besides, all facilities are inspected by world famous quality certification authorities, and the company has certificates of ISO 22000 food safety management system, and of British Retail Consortium and European union food safety certificates. All vehicles are sterilized when entering our facilities. A strict outfit procedure is applied for all people in the company. Everyone has to wear bones, mask and sterile outfits. Health checks of the workers are made regularly.
What is the story of Ravika, your brand for olive oil?
The project was started for the commemoration of our late grandfather, our founder, Ismail Keskinoglu in 2005. Now it has 7 percent share in domestic market. He had been planting olive trees all the time. When we asked why, his answer was, “Zeytin is bounty. You will realize the value of these trees, when I passed away.” On his memory, we founded Ravika village and started to produce olive oil on 1856 model machinery in smaller batches. We put them in special bottles we have made it designed in Italy and send them as gifts to our close friends on the anniversary of grandpa’s death. Among the recipient, were also buying managers of large chain of retailers. They liked it and demanded more. Ravika brand now represents Turkey in 75 countries in the world.
Exports are indispensable firms like yours. What about the products and their targeted export markets?
In 2013 we exported 86 million dollars worth of broiler meat, eggs and olive oil. Our target for 2014 is to get 100 million dollars. We now export our products to 75 countries including, Azerbaijan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Denmark, Guinea, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Israel, Sweden, Cyprus, Kuwait, Malaysia, Kosovo, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Greece and Yemen.
What do your company do in the field of research and development?
We are an agile company in the fast changing world. We are ahead of our competitors in launching new products. New tastes and varieties are important in food industry. We have 150 varieties only in chicken meat. Consumption habits are changing. Ready to serve varieties are demanded more and more. Consumers seek practical food, so R&D is important. On average, every year we launch five new varieties in the market.
Please inform us about facilities and new investments in the chicken broth and filet fit?
We have 277 production units in Akhisar, Manisa, on 1.8 million sqm. land. We made great investments in the last five years to expand our space and capacity. We are always keen to produce healthier products for the consumers. Chicken broth is our new product and is made of by boiling hicken meat in water and sold in cans of 360 ml. The other new product is Fileto Fit that is produced 100-breast meat of chicken and is offered in 80 grams of cans that packed in triples. We invested 5 million for these two new products.
What can be said about your position in the market and about the industry when compared with global markets?
Annual per capita consumption of chicken meat is about 20 kg. in Turkey. It is 40 kg. in Saudi Arabia, Brazil and America, 25 kg. in Europe. There might be some campaign against chicken meat in Turkey, from time to time. Disinformation about the subject may confuse consumers. Following some intensive promotional activities made by industry partners, consumption beganto rise again. Production of poultry products is on the rise in Turkey which ranks 8th in the production of broilers in the world. Larger companies are expanding their plants. We became competitor for American and Brazilian producers in the world. The same is also valid for egg production.There is a growth potential in domestic market. When Holland aside, who sells other countries production as well, we are the greater exporter of eggs in the world. As Keskinoglu, we are the third largest producer in chicken meat and the leader in exports in Turkey. We have 72 percent share in retail market for eggs. Our share in Turkey’s total egg exports is up close to 10 percent