Azerbaijani entrepreneurs ready to produce raw materials for global brand
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 20 / Trend, A. Akhundov /
Dry onion powder from Azerbaijan may be used in the production of Knorr products. The brand belongs to one of the world's leaders in food and household chemical products market and the British-Dutch company Unilever.
In the course of the event titled "The development of agriculture and investment opportunities in Azerbaijan" held on Wednesday, the international humanitarian organization Oxfam presented results obtained within last two years from demonstration plots where local experts along with Unilever agronomists planted different varieties of white onions. Within the Sunrise project, Oxfam and Unilever have worked with small farmers in Barda, Tartar and Agdam regions. One of the main objectives of the development of these sites was to identify varieties of onion with high dry matter to explore the use of onion powder from Azerbaijan in the production of Knorr products.
"Under the pilot project, small farmers provided the processing company with products that were introduced to the attention of Unilever. According to the preliminary plan, upon completion of a five-year period of development, the volume of the dried product may reach 1,400 tons (with annual cost of nearly $ 3.5 million). However, it still profitable for Unilever to buy dried onion powder in Azerbaijan despite the fact that local prices are four times higher than the base price in world markets. However, experience with small farms shows that investments in training, technology and equipment may improve productivity and product quality and reduce costs dramatically," the event noted.
Production of dry onion powder has already generated interest in Azerbaijani entrepreneurs. Thus, entrepreneurs from Agjabadi region have appealed to the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support of the Ministry of Economic Development for preferential loans in order to start production in this sphere.
With annual sales reaching three billion Euros, Knorr is the best selling brand of Unilever. The brand produces soups, condiments and sauces. Knorr headquarters is located in the German city of Heilbronn.