SUKHUM -- Abkhaz consumers have received a new year’s gift from the Sukhum dairy plant. From the start of the year the plant has begun to produce sour cream, cottage cheese and yoghourt.
The plant was modernized within the framework of the “Complex Plan to promote the socio-economic development of the republic of Abkhazia in 2012-2012.” The plant stood idle for some time after the installation of Russian-Italian equipment due to lack of working capital. The state then allocated the required funding and from January 3 its specialists began producing dairy products. The third batch has already been dispatched for sale in Abkhazia’s grocery stores and supermarkets. Anyone can purchase the products either retail or wholesale at the actual plant.
“Unfortunately we don’t have our own shop, so we have to go and ask shop owners to take our yoghourt, sour cream and cottage cheese to sell,” the plant’s director, Gennadii Amichba, said.
The milk is imported from Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. Sour cream, for example, is made from high-quality full-fat milk, not from margarine, the way many foreign manufacturers whose produce is imported into Abkhazia do. The plant employs 20 people, and the facilities are spotlessly clean. The plant’s current output is up to 400 kilos of products per day.
“Our production capacity is 10,000 tons per day. When we increase production, the work force will expand to 50 people,” the director said. “If the demand exists, the plant could supply dairy products for the entire republic, including school canteens, and sanatoria and hotels during the summer tourist season.”
Amichba thinks that if the state provided support to local producers, there would be much more food available that is produced in Abkhazia and that could displace on the local market imported food that is not always of an acceptable standard. “We need to encourage local producers,” Amichba said.
The plant produces classic and granular, full-fat and low-fat cottage cheese; fat-free (1 percent) yoghourt and yoghourt with a fat content of 2.5 percent, in litre and half-litre tubs; and full-fat and low-fat sour cream either in quantity or in 400 gram or 200 gram pots.