“As a result of the extensive modernization we made last year and the technological revisions we are going to do until the end of this year, we are thinking of raising our capacity use rate to 75 to 80 %. In addition to this, there are also ongoing talks we have been carrying on in the context of export. If these are realized, our capacity use rate will be 100%. It may even be required for us to rent factories whose technological criteria match ours.”
The guest of our magazine this month is Şevsan Gıda San. A.Ş one of Turkey’s important flour mills. Şevsan Un (Şevsan Flour), which has a capacity of 600 tons/day, has increased its progresses especially in recent years. Fethullah ŞEVGİN, the company's Chairman of the Board of Directors, states that they use modern, eco-friendly, with high-efficiency and economic technologies in accordance with the conditions of the day in their factories. Stating that they are thinking of raising their capacity use rate to 75 - 80 % as a result of the extensive modernization they made last year and the technological revisions they are going to do until the end of this year, maintained that their capacity use may reach 100% in the event that certain of their projects related to export are put into practice, and it may even be required for them to rent flour factories which are suitable in terms of technological infrastructure. Taking into consideration the fact that the average capacity use of the sector in Turkey is around the rates of 40 %, this is a highly ambitious plan.
Another noteworthy point in ŞEVGİN’s remarks is partnership. Fethullah ŞEVGİN also gave the signal of the fact that they may think of partnerships with foreign companies in the context of gaining foreign capital for Turkey. We are taking the details related to the issue from ŞEVGİN.
Mr. Şevgin, your company Şevsan Un is one of the distinguished flour mills of Turkey. First of all, could you please tell us about your company and how you came through to the present day?
As Şevsan Gıda San. ve Tic. A.Ş., we made an extensive research before we began to operate in the sector of flour. Due to our country's geopolitical and strategic position and the fact that our economic Dynamics were based on agriculture under the conditions of that period, and again, with the foresight that there was a need for high-capacity modern flour mills throughout our country in those years (Despite all the bureaucratic impositions and difficulties), we established Şevsan Flour Factory with a capacity of 500 tons/day in 1998 in ATO-Sincan in the 1st Organized industrial zone. Later, by establishing the company of Şenpa Gıda Pazarlama (Food Marketing) in order to bring our enterprise to an even more powerful and important position in the context of sustainability, we provided considerable support to Şevsan Flour in the field of logistics and marketing.
In our country, there are a number of different scales of flour factories. It was like this in the years when we decided to invest in the flour industry. The fact that the flour factories were given incentive credits in those years caused many people or companies to embark in flour industry without making a comprehensive research. Unfortunately, many people or companies that established a flour factory with great excitement without making a research in those years have experienced a serious disappointment, some of them went bankrupt, and some had to orientate towards producing red dog for the factories that manufactured feed for the fish and chicks. This is a condition that is unpleasant, sad on behalf of our industry. In this chaotic narrow bottleneck, the fact that many companies made sales of flour almost at its cost to the hoarders that we call black marketers for the purpose of surviving under the conditions of the day have negatively affected the serious corporate firms who have a voice in the sector. Similar situations are continuing today. In a phase with no rules, with no justice and in which unfair competition is very intensive; our succeeding in becoming a company with a voice in the sector and one that is sought in the markets would only be possible with our realizing many different works. First of all, we have established technical and administrative staff consisting of manpower experienced and qualified in their field. Secondly, we raised quality criteria special to our company the level of world standards by making serious and rigorous R & D studies in our full-service laboratories, and we even created special standards in some specific products of ours. While doing this, we have also updated ourselves continuously all the time with advancing technology, and we have provided continuity in production. Along with all this, with the confidence given by the spirit of collective work we created and institutionalization we have installed, we have brought Şevsan Flour to its present condition.
Could you give information about your production facility, your capacity and the technologies you use? At what level is your company in terms of capacity and use of technology?
Our manufacturing plant has been designed and established by taking human and society health and safe food production as a basis, in a way that will make production according to the rules of hygiene and sanitation. Our factory is composed of two units with a capacity of 250 tons/day. The technology we use is a technology that is accordance with the terms of the day, one that is modern, eco-friendly, with high-efficiency and economic technology. Due to the fact that our factory has qualified manpower carrying on innovation studies and adapting to our business, all technological developments are closely monitored. Issues on yield, capacity, efficiency and especially those that will contribute to our business in the context of quality are discussed in regular meetings, and they are put into practice rapidly with a joint decision taken. In this context, we made a decision for modernization last year, and renewed one of our units. With this change, our capacity which was 500 ton/day increased by 100 tons and has been updated as 600 ton/day. In addition, despite creating a serious expense in terms of cost, human & society health and sanitation rules are taken into consideration, and we have given weight to the use of flour bulk trailers which are extremely hygienic for the transportation of bulk flour. As a result of the extensive modernization we made last year and the technological revisions we will make until the end of this year, we are thinking of increasing our capacity use rate to the rates of 75-80 %. In addition to this, there are also negotiations we are carrying out in the context of export. In the event that these are realized, our capacity use rate will be 100%. It may even be required for us to rent factories whose technological criteria match ours.
Could you also tell us a little about your product variability, types of flour you make to the production of and their sources of raw materials (wheat) ?
The flour types we produce are used in the production of all kinds of bakery and bread varieties domestically and abroad. Our products cover the flour types used in French bread whose production is predominantly made in industrial enterprises, cottage loaf, sandwich bread, rolls, Trabzon bread, village bread, whole wheat bread, flatbread, Pita bread and şebit; in the products included in the luxury groups such as baklava, pie and pastry and in the bakery products. In addition to these, we also produce specific flour varieties in accordance with special demands. Our range of flour is manufactured in accordance with the criteria and norms determined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Livestock.
We provide our raw material need mainly domestically. The wheat production in our country is approximately 22 million tons. Consumption in the domestic market however, is approximately 21 million tons. In this case, our wheat production only meets our internal consumption. Considering natural disasters, especially drought, it is necessary that we develop new strategies in the production of wheat, and hence, to increase our production. In recent years, the wheat varieties developed by Field Crops Central Research Institute is a significant achievement in terms of our industry. We're a country that is a world leader in exports of flour. Due to the fact that our flour export is based on import in terms of the country, of course we use imported wheat from time to time. In addition, we reach consensus with contracts with farmers that own big lands for the production of some of our special products, and having them carry out special farming, we guarantee our special productions.
What is the role and place of Şevsan Flour in the flour market in Turkey? What can you tell us about your place in the sector? What makes Şevsan Flour different from its other competitors in Turkey ?
The main reason of the acceptance of Şevsan Flour in the markets and being a brand that is sought arises from the fact that it has the spirit of Ahi community. Our past is food wholesale. Every person or organization living intertwined with our precious nation, and giving importance of to our nation and our national values wins favor in the eyes of our precious nation. In our industry, there are two customer groups as internal and foreign market. No matter to what extent the advantages are in the foreign market, we owe duty of loyalty to our precious nation that makes us who we are and gives rise to our coming to these days. In this context, we always give priority to the demands of the domestic market. The fact that we made a slogan of customer satisfaction and especially serving our precious nation, and the fact that our esteemed customers and valuable nation sees and knows this phenomenon has been carrying us to the place we deserve in our sector.
As a result of the continuous R&D studies of our authorized units, following the latest innovations and rapidly adapting them to our enterprise for the purpose of innovation and modernization, we attain both productivity and also sustainability in production and quality. Customer satisfaction generated as a result of product diversity, providing urgent supply to demands and after sales customer tracking is certainly very significant in this context. In addition, the fact that our friends in the Marketing Department develop appropriate strategies for the volatile market conditions and the fact that we work with stocks by considering the rheological and enzymic fluctuations likely to occur in wheat depending on the global warming-induced variable climate conditions has enabled us to be one step further at all times compared to the other enterprises in the sector. Şevsan Flour has always undertaken a balancing role in terms of the price fluctuations in the domestic market since the day it started production, and has managed to prevent both the producer and the consumer to be exposed to injustice.
We know that you work only in the Turkish market in the production of flour. Could you please tell us about your efforts related to export, and the countries to which you export flour? Could you tell us about your investments and targets on this matter, if any?
So far, we have performed export to twelve countries. We attach great importance to our customers in the external markets, as well. We have a spiritual bond with many countries. Especially in a period when Muslim countries give priority and importance to our country in the context of halal products, we have to gain their trust and favor, consolidate their confidence and faith in us as a country, provide continuity in export, and make production in the world standards by outdoing our competitors in the other countries. Apart from the countries to which we are currently doing export, we have negotiations with several African countries. Some of these are in the signature phase; when the agreement is provided, we may hire factories which are equal to our technology in addition to our established capacity as I have said just now. The fact that we are in a leading position in flour export among the countries of the World must have drawn the attention of the foreign investors, because last year, Söke Flour was sold to the foreigners. The likelihood of new foreign investors’ coming in our sector in the coming years is great. In the context of integration foreign capital to our country, we can think of partnership with foreign companies in our country or in third countries.
Turkey is the world's number one exporter of flour. What do you think is the secret of Turkey’s being so successful in flour export? As Şevsan Flour, what are your priorities in both production and also service in your export efforts?
As I said in the first place, our country has become a leader in flour export by using the advantages of its strategic and geopolitical position well. If the developments in the countries in the region and the other countries in the Far East and Africa to which we make export are carefully read and followed, our remaining as a leader in the next 10-15 years is a strong possibility. The duty that falls on us must be to give the due of being a leader without being overcome by languor. Leadership is directly connected with technology that processes the product produced. We, as a country, have gained leadership as a result of the advancement of mill machinery industry and its development. We are aware of the importance of mill machinery industry in the continuation of our leadership. As long as mill machinery manufacturers go on producing new technologies and innovative solutions with the same excitement in the context of efficiency, sanitation and quality, we will also go on our way with the same enthusiasm as the sector. In addition, our developing new strategies in terms of raw materials and the production of auxiliary materials (vitamin, mineral and enzymes) has become a necessity in a globalizing world. Accordingly, we have to seek and find new clients while maintaining our existing customers. Remaining a leader is a difficult process. The firms that export products should follow the product until it is consumed up at the point it went to other than fulfilling the aspects and criteria specified in the agreement, and provide absolute customer satisfaction. Since we will remain as a leader as long as we provide absolute customer satisfaction, the competent agencies and organizations, especially the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry, Turkish Exporters Association and TUSAF should check our export in a serious way, and they should not allow making an error. Customer is the benefactor. We cannot mention a customer that is underdeveloped, less developed, one that is in need, that is obligated or qualified, and such a thing cannot be in question, and it should not be. In this context, strict control in export is quite important and necessary for our future.
Could you also tell us about some new investments or investments you are planning to do, if any? What can you say about Şevsan Flour’s future targets?
As Şevsan Flour, We care about our business and our sector. In the light of the data obtained by our experienced colleagues who are specialized in their field within the structure of our company from their R&D studies, we are planning to establish production lines with high-tech and productivity for some special productions. In addition, our modernization work are ongoing in our R&D laboratory. All this and more importantly, is the importance that we give to qualified human power. In this context, our new colleagues we have included in our staff by stipulating the future of our company are being trained by our experienced colleagues, and we are reinforcing our administrative and technical staff.
Finally, what would you like to add?
We produce the raw material of bread, which is the indispensable basic consumable of the society. If we consider the wheat production and consumption in our country and around the world, it is obvious that we do not have enough wheat. If so, we need to eliminate bread waste by making conscious production, and raising awareness among consumers. Since this can be possible with qualified staff who cares about the conscious production work, we must solve the problem of qualified manpower. In addition, production should be made by considering human and community health, so that we can have a healthy and happy society. In the context of raw materials, producing flour from wheat which are not processed by being excluded from the scale must be absolutely prevented. The flours produced from these wheats being managed to be made bread is possible with illegal additives and agents. The spots where this type of flours are used are industrial enterprises because they are cheap.
AS Şevsan Flour; we will continue our way with determination by always caring about hygiene, sanitation and quality criteria and taking care to produce a healthy and natural products for our precious nation and all our customers within the framework of healthy living and target of a healthy society.