28 March 202011 min reading

Özgür Karakurt, CMAK Makina General Manager: "If cereals such as barley and corn are served to animals as flake instead of just being crushed or broken, Turkey may obtain an additional annual income of approximately 5 billion TL."

Interview by: Cemalettin KANAŞ

Producing and building flake feed machinery and facilities, CMAK Makina has started to hold an important place in the industry since 2015, when it opened its eyes to the business world. Activating over 25 flake feed plants during this period, the Çanakkale-based company recently announced that it had built Turkey's largest flake feed plant in Bursa. We had an interview with Özgür Karakurt, the General Manager of the company, about the company's excitement, goals and vision. Expressing that they can easily understand the demands of the feed producers and develop accurate solutions because they have been a feed producer in the past, Karakurt states that the price quotations they have given over the Turkish Lira at an era of the currency crisis have given them an advantage in customer satisfaction. Expressing that they had to put into operation the second machine facility they planned for export as the demand from the country exceeded their expectations, Karakurt said that they believed that they would be in a position to respond to the demands coming from abroad at short notice. Underlining the idea that flake feed increases the feed conversion ratio, he states that the spread of this feed type will be very beneficial for the country's economy and therefore they expect to be supported by the government.

The answers Mr. Karakurt gave to our questions are as follows:

First of all, can we get some brief information about your company? Our company started its activities in 2015 with a full focus on flake feed machinery manufacturing. As a company starting from scratch, reaching this success after a short period like 5 years is the biggest evidence of how accurate the way we are walking is. We are proud that we have completed 25 flake feed plants in Turkey so far. The demand increasing day by day and our wish to cater to it helps us to further improve ourselves in this process. The main reason we have broken into this market is the fact that all flake feed machinery is imported to Turkey only after their essential internal parts are produced in our country, sent to the USA and enter into chassis and come back. Moreover, if cereals such as barley and corn are served to animals as flake instead of just being crushed or broken, our country may obtain an additional annual income of approximately 5 billion TL. 25 flake feed plants that we have completed so far have brought us to the position we have well deserved. We think that we will come to the position we deserve not only domestically but also worldwide with our team that has specialized quickly.

Could you compare flake with pellet feed in terms for feed manufacturers and farmers? How does it differ by different animal species? In world literature, animal feeding is conducted with a system based on starch sources and protein sources. However, the pellet feed system formed in our country is offered to customers with different rations. This causes unstable feeding methods. Flake feed or flake-derived feeds support closing the energy and protein deficit, provide a more natural feeding method, increase the yield with healthy methods and aim to keep the animal health at a maximum level in terms of sustainable agriculture. For example, the insemination problem, which is a chronic problem in our country, is seen less frequently in cattle fed with flake products. In this way, the number of offspring obtained per animal has increased, adding value to our economy. While the availability of an animal is between 8 and 10 years in countries where animal husbandry is developed, whereas this average is between 4-5 years in our country. Our goal is to extend the availability period and create happy and healthy herds with natural food sources.

Why should the customers choose your machines? What distinguishes you from your domestic and foreign competitors? The main reason why our customers choose us is that our know-how on flake feed plants is based on practice, not only on theoretical knowledge. The business spirit we come from is the biggest point that distinguishes us from our competitors. Before that, we have been carrying out flake feed production activities with our own machinery and this event brought us very valuable information. For these reasons, we can easily understand our customers and respond to all requests in the most accurate way. In addition, the fact that we stand behind the machines we produce and the logistic support we provide attract the customers. The main feature that distinguishes us from our domestic and foreign competitors is our solutions we generate. But it is not only limited to this. We also provide convenience in the prices. While all other companies in the sector submit their price offers in dollars or Euros, we submit them in Turkish Liras. Our first thought is "How can we be more beneficial to the livestock activities in our country?" This is what we are fighting for. Our flake machines running in 15 different provinces are the leaders in their regions. The machines we have produced are the most well-supported ones in the world. They have completely chrome bodies and function with minimum energy consumption and maximum durability and lifetime. They are functioning in the most suitable way for flake technology.

You are a young and dynamic company established in 2015. Could you tell us about a couple of important projects that you have completed in this period? First of all, I would like to talk about the project we developed for Çiçek Yem. I would like to thank dear Atilla Açar, Chairman of Çiçek Yem, who trusted us for this process. We have activated 2 flake production lines of 10-12 tons for Çiçek Yem. We also activated a muesli feed facility. They have attained a pretty good momentum in the region with their production capacities. I hope they will continue this way. As individuals who believe that it is time for change in the feed sector, we have initiated this transformation process within the structure of Çiçek Yem with the support of our investors. Along with the muesli feed facility, new and very precious feed groups which will provide 100% natural and maximum efficiency, have been just produced. When muesli feed facilities that have been established integratedly with many flake plants project, which are currently in progress, are put into operation a new feeding method will be formed in our country. In the near future, the use of these feeds will increase in our entire country. This situation will have positive results both for our country's economy and for producers. In addition, Hekimoğlu Konya Lidaş project, which we are about to activate, will be one of the best-equipped and biggest projects of Turkey and start to provide added value to our economy of the country in April.

We are informed that you have recently built the largest flake plant of Turkey in Bursa. What would you like to say about this project? For which company was the facility built and what will it provide to the sector? This facility, established in Bursa, was designed for Sezer Gıda. Production capacity is currently 2 times higher than its nearest challenger. After this plant, Sezer Gıda became more popular. Sezer Gıda, which has entered the sector quickly with its 4 flake production line with a capacity of 25 tons per hour, continues to work at full capacity. Its dealer network is able to serve all the products made with our machinery to the entire country. We are continuing the technical support we provide to every flake facility we have built also in this facility and keeping our customer satisfaction at the highest level.

When I examined the "references" section on your website, I saw that you are working with prominent companies within Turkey. What do you think and aim in terms of export? There is a very intense demand from abroad. There is great demand particularly from the South American and Asian continents. Our contact with many companies from Brazil, India, and Ethiopia continues, but we are acting primarily to respond to domestic demands and we make all of our plans in this direction. Within the scope of the decisions we have taken in 2020, we have accelerated all our infrastructure, innovation and R&D activities in order to open up to the international market, have created the necessary resources and started to take important steps in export. However, due to the intense demand coming from abroad, we are about to activate our second machine production line which was indeed designed to meet the demands coming from abroad. We believe that as soon as possible, we will be a company that can meet the demands from abroad in the fastest way, with a well-established infrastructure.

The Turkish feed machinery sector is known for its strong domestic structure. Sometimes this causes a hesitation for foreign companies that consider entering the market. As a Turkish firm, what kind of challenges did you encounter while entering the sector? How did you get over? First of all, we kept the quality and robustness at the maximum level in the production of our machines with special features. In this process, we have activated many facilities with the most appropriate payment methods and the fastest installations. In this way, the momentum our sales gained due to our references resulting from our customer satisfaction has brought us to a much better point. However, as in other sectors, unlicenced and unconsciously built flake facilities cause unfair competition against our flake facilities, which are designed in accordance with the literature. However, we see that these unconscious facilities are making their investors unhappy in a short time and unfortunately they are scrapped because they cannot produce quality and correct products. We strongly recommend our customers to visit many reference facilities, analyze the subject and make facility investments that can work in the right process instead of prioritizing price and cost. I just mentioned the added value that will be created by the increase in flake production facilities, which is important for our country's economy and becomes widespread throughout the country. Therefore, our expectation from the government is to provide credit support to flake investment projects with a long-term repayment plan. In addition, there is a need for an accreditation authority in order to determine whether the companies producing flake machines are competent in terms of producing such machinery in the correct process. In case this is realized, flake plants will be produced in the correct process throughout our country, and unconscious facilities will be prevented and losses arising from this will be eliminated.

Do you have anything you want to add? We have accomplished successful projects in the process of manufacturing flake machines and muesli feed plants, which we have started only 5 years ago. In this process, we have brought important facilities to our country by acting completely with our own resources and going through many challenging processes. We will continue to serve our customers 24/7 with our company structure, which renews itself every day, applies the things it discovers and aims to make its name known to the world in the near future. The greatest value for us is the pleasure we have acquired in the businesses we have built and the added value that the machines we have produced have brought to our farmers, our animals, and our investors. We hope that what we have achieved will be regarded as the guarantee of our future success.

The flake feed machines we have produced are now called lifetime machines because they are 100% domestic goods and the materials used in manufacturing are made of chrome.

I would like to thank you on behalf of CMAK MAKİNA family for this nice conversation. I wish to be able to similar talks again with the new projects we will accomplish in the following days. I cannot thank you enough for announcing these developments that concern the sector closely. I wish you continued success.

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