Interview: Cemalettin Kanaş
M. Kartal Kanat:
Although established with the vision of making a contribution to the development of Turkish agriculture and animal husbandry, the scale of Kartal Kimya has exceeded the borders of the country in the course of time and our company has opened up to the world.
We want to launch new products with the R&D department we have established within the company. Only rare company companies in the world can achieve this.
Many companies founded with a certain vision take over the same vision when decades pass and management change hands. Many managers, taking advantage of the opportunities that were not available during their father or grandfather, have reached unimaginable levels compared to 20-30 years ago. Kartal Kimya is one of these brands. The premix company, founded by Yusuf Kanat in 1985, is today in a position that represents many firsts in the country. The company is administered by M. Kartal Kanat and Pınar Kanat, the Vice Chairman and Vice Chairwoman of the company, is now making production in one of the most modern facilities of Europe. Kartal Kimya, which opened up to the world at the beginning of the 21st century, is planning to expand its export region to the whole Middle East and Africa today. Describing the company's vision and its place in the sector, Mr. Kanat said, “We have always tried to be a pioneer also in technological innovations. Today, the factory equipped with the most state-of-the-art technology in Europe is ours." Expressing that they have adopted an understanding that regards their customers' success as their own, Ms. Kanat states that this point of view makes Kartal Kimya a favorite solution partner.
Below is our interview with M. Kartal Kanat and Pınar Kanat:
First of all, could you tell us about your company? With what goals and by who was Kartal Kimya founded?
Pınar Kanat: Kartal Kimya was founded in 1985 by chemical engineer Yusuf Kanat. Before establishing Kartal, Yusuf Kanat started working in an international company first. There, he worked in the laboratory for 16 years. After that, he founded Turkey's first veterinary medicine, flavorings, and feed additives departments within the structure of the same company. He had served as the director of these departments until his retirement in 1984. He had a vision and was a groundbreaker. He was one of the first connoisseurs of his profession. When he retired, he decided to set up his own business. He adopted contributing to the development of Turkish agriculture and animal husbandry as a principle by using all the experience and knowledge he gained in the sector. Kartal was founded on these values.
But of course, over time, this goal did not remain limited to only our country. Kartal started to diversify its products gradually and to make changes in the products according to the requests coming from the countries in the region. When it started to meet the demands of not only our own country but also other countries in our region, Kartal's product range expanded and will continue to expand further.
WE HAVE BROKEN GROUNDS FOR COUNTRY SEVERAL TIMES
Know-how is a significant issue when it comes to technical production. In this context, what can you tell us about the technical know-how of Yusuf Kanat, founder of the company, and the significance of what he has done for the feed additives sector in Turkey?
M. Kartal Kanat: Until today, Kartal Kimya has been one of the companies to be the first to keep informed about and pioneer the future developments and innovations in products. Under the roof of Kartal Kimya, my father introduced the most important product groups such as amino acids, anticoccidials, and enzymes to the Turkish livestock industry. He became one of the veterans who played a major role in the improvement of the Turkish feed additive industry.
Kartal Kanat, Yıldız Nermin Kanat (CEO), Pınar Kanat
Besides, we have always tried to be a pioneer also in technological innovations. Today, the factory equipped with the most state-of-the-art technology in Turkey and Europe is ours. Moreover, my father built this facility in 1995 with huge investment for his country. This production facility was established by Bühler, the world's leading automation company in the field of production. We are the only company in Turkey engaged in manufacturing using this company's technology in this field. We have activated automation in every area from weighing to mixing and packaging. Our difference from other companies is that we have a micro-dosing facility in the production area and automation. We have FAMI-QS, our quality certificates are ISO 9001, the latest version 2015 and ISO 14001. We received the international environmental award in 2015. For the first time, a premix company has received this award. At the same time, we have established a liquid mixing facility that is not available in any premix factory.
WE ARE TO START MYCOTOXIN ANALYSES
Moreover, we are the only premix company in Turkey owning a laboratory with the capability of conducting the most comprehensive analyses. In our laboratory, analyses of water and fat-soluble vitamins, analyses of all heavy metals, homogenization stability tests, analyses of amino acids are performed. We will soon be able to start mycotoxin analyses and our new investments in our laboratory will continue. We have inherited our sensitivity for continuity and quality from our father. Our father had always attached great importance to quality, to constant self-control, and to see where we stand in quality. We are carrying the same excitement and interest.
I have noted that your company, which was established in 1985, started mass production in 2001. What happened in the 16 years between? Can you give information about your production facility and capacity?
M. Kartal Kanat: Yes, mass production started in 2001 together with the transition to full automation. In the meantime, we had always tried to be a pioneer in technological innovations. As I stated before, we have established the most modern production facilities equipped with the most state-of-the-art technology in Turkey, Europe, and the Middle East. We are the first and only company making production with the technology of the world-famous Bühler. Our capacity is 10 tons/hour. This is a pretty capacity for a premix company. Moreover, we have the big bag packing ability. We can also conduct very precise weighing in our 20-silo micro-dosing facility. We have a liquid mixture facility that is not available in any premix company. Our new investments keep going.
"WE ARE TO BREAK GROUNDS AGAIN AMONG TURKISH COMPANIES"
As for today, at what point do you see yourself in the sector as a company? What are your goals in the short and medium run?
Pınar Kanat: Our vision is to contribute to human health with healthier and more natural products and to make production with advanced technologies. Our values are always to be pioneering, honest and reliable, and to produce healthful products. Our next projects will be based on them. On human health, animal nutrition and completing all the rings of the chain from farm to fork...
We have established an R&D department within the structure of the company. With R&D studies, we aim to develop new products and bring in these products to our sector. This is an innovation that excites us, and this is the case also for all other premix companies… Very few companies can produce their own products and bring in something new. Foreign companies?
Maybe. But none of the Turkish companies can do this. We want to be the first in our country in this regard.
We want when we say Kartal, the first thing that comes to our mind be a successful brand with its own products and a leader in applying technical developments. We want our branding journey to continue not only in Turkey but also in the global market. Kartal is already a brand recognized in Turkey, but we are working to make our brand known better also in neighboring countries, in our export market, and all over the world. The innovations we will make from now on will always be in this direction.
What distinguishes Kartal Kimya from its competitors? Why do your customers choose you?
Pınar Kanat: We work in a customer-oriented manner. We listen to our customers and make production by paying attention to what they say and demand. Our customers are very important to us. If they are successful, we are successful. We are being preferred also thanks to this philosophy we have adopted.
Moreover, we are a reliable company that can produce fast solutions and sensitive to quality.
WE AIM TO GROW IN ARABIAN PENINSULA AND AFRICA
You have twenty years of export history since the turn of the millennium. Which regions do you currently export to? How did the pandemic change this situation? What are your goals in terms of production capacity, product diversity and export regions in the short and medium run?
M. Kartal Kanat: We currently export to the Turkic Republics (such as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) in Central Asia and the Arabian Peninsula (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia). We also make sale to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. We have started to trade with countries such as Ukraine and Georgia. Production decreased in these countries due to restrictions and production losses with the pandemic, for sure. As countries took care of themselves, there was a decrease in exports. In addition, disease-related losses in poultry and increases in costs also slowed down the exports. We are planning to export to other Turkic Republics, other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan, and African countries in the upcoming period.
As for our production capacity… Our production capacity at our facility is already high enough to achieve these goals. I can say that our infrastructure is ready in this sense. We are enhancing our product range every day, particularly with our solution products.
Can you give some information about your distributorships and partners? What opportunities do these partnerships offer you?
Pınar Kanat: We represent world-renowned, well-established international companies in the livestock sector, as well as companies that are world leaders in the production of natural products, which prioritize and develop the innovations of the sector. Thanks to these collaborations, we want to notice the needs of our country and neighboring countries in advance, and thus benefit from these developments by preparing and supporting them in advance. Working with well-established and international companies adds awareness, creativity, and practicalness to us on the way to improve our vision.
A FEW GLOBAL COMPANIES STAND OUT IN ADDITIVE SECTOR
It is known that the Turkish feed industry is largely foreign-dependent in terms of additives. In this context, the position of Kartal Kimya and other domestic producers is very important. First of all, what do you attribute this foreign dependency to? What steps does the industry take to overcome this situation?
M. Kartal Kanat: As the feed additive sector, we are completely foreign-dependent in almost all pure vitamins, amino acids (such as Lysine, Methionine, and Threonine), enzymes, anticoccidials, and other additives. Because only a few certain companies in the world are producing these products and most of the products are under their monopoly. As a sector, we are very affected by the crises due to production, raw material supply, and exchange rate increases. In particular, since we make agreements with companies for quarterly and six-month connections, we may be affected very negatively by such a situation. Most companies in Turkey went into partnership with the companies that have a say in the world and large agencies of the industry started to work in our country. Under these circumstances, competition has become more and more challenging for us.
FOREIGN-SOURCE DEPENDENCY SHOULD BE MINIMIZED
I would prefer my last question to be on the coronavirus. Nowadays, with the vaccine agenda, the horror and panic of the last year seem to have been replaced by discussions about how long normalization will take. What has this experience taught us?
M. Kartal Kanat: Our experience has led to major changes in global supply chains. Problems such as the inability to produce raw materials on time and the delay in deadlines due to logistics operations have been encountered. As for the sectoral basis, the closure of businesses, the slowdown in tourism and the decrease in demand, of course, caused a decrease in our sales. In addition, consequently, delays in payments created a need for financial sources in the sector and the fiscal deficit has been tried to be compensated with loans. For these reasons, it is necessary to carry out studies that will reduce foreign dependency, prioritize domestic production and organize the sector accordingly. By means of thorough planning, we must take a position in such a way that such crises will affect businesses the least. During the pandemic period, with the countries closing their borders, chicken meat and egg exports were blocked. Accordingly, the white meat stocks of the producers in cold storage stocks increased, laying hens were slaughtered and sales were made at a loss. For this reason, it seems inevitable that meat, egg, and milk producers, apart from us, should diversify their products in the countries of export.