bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 24.01.2018 | Name days: Krišs, Eglons, Ksenija
LatviaLatvia

Ingman Saldējums: consumers have the right to know what they eat

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Despite costs of raw materials for ice cream production rose over 10% on average, while costs of energy needed for production grew 6 – 8%, the choice of not substituting the cream with cheaper vegetable fats has paid off, Normunds Labrencis, Director of Ingman Saldējums, recognized in an interview to the business news portal BNN.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Normunds Labrencis

What are the recent key events in your industry?

The successful beginning of new ice cream season, dramatic changes in raw material prices and amendments to legislation can be mentioned as the most important events in the ice cream industry during the past year.

I believe the ice cream season start is very successful this year. Ingman Saldējums ice cream sales surged 26% in May, while doubling in the first few weeks of June, compared to last year. This is largely due to Ingman’s strategy – launching over 20 new ice creams on the Latvian market with the arrival of season. This is a record-high number, compared to other ice cream producers in Latvia, as well as to the company’s past experience, because usually the product range is expanded with ten new products a year. New product development and introduction in particular is a significant precondition for financially-successful sales performance.

However, in order to talk about successful ice-cream market expansion, cost and consumer behaviour predictability is important in the long term. There are areas the government cannot influence. For example, raw material prices, weather conditions, dollar fluctuations, fuel prices on the world market, which have already hit their critical point, surcharging production costs. Yet the government can help businesses by taking decisions not imposing additional burden. Unfortunately, last year we experienced tax increases and energy resource surcharge, affecting businesses and reducing the residents’ purchasing power.

Do you feel skilled labour shortages?

The company Ingman Saldējums itself does not experience a lack of qualified workers. At the same time, such problem exists in the country and should not be played down. The large number of employable people leaving Latvia is worrying. Not only basic job workers are going away, but also educated professionals. The longer this issue is not solved by the government, the more Latvia will experience skilled labour shortages, further reflecting on the demographic situation.

What changes would you like to see in Latvia’s legislation?

The consumption of ice cream grows along with the arrival of hot season. However, not all products sold are real ice cream, because some are made from cream (milk), while others – from vegetable fat, which has nothing to do with milk. Currently, the Latvian legislation does not impose an obligation on producers to label products with tags «ice cream» or «ice cream product», as in case of sour cream and cream products and butter and butter products. Yet consumers have the right to know what products they eat.

How was your industry affected by the crisis?

Latvia has already overcome the low point, yet it is possible to describe the period since the crisis start in 2008 as challenging, characterized by increasing competition on the market and pressure on product price. Firstly, this was due to the residents’ low purchasing power. Secondly – rapid raw material and energy price gains, hitting record-highs in recent years. We have estimated that on average raw materials for ice cream production surged more than 10% within a year. While the costs of energy necessary for production spiked 6 – 8%.

Nevertheless, Ingman did not change its strategy by replacing cream with less expensive vegetable fats. Instead, it continued to produce ice cream on a cream base. This strategy clearly paid off, because the company did not lose buyers’ confidence in its products, flavours and quality, thus maintaining and even boosting the market share.

When will your company reach the pre-crisis performance?

In May, Ingman Saldējums posted the best sales figures in its history. At the moment, the 2011 sales performance is historically the best, exceeding the 2007 and the 2008 figures. We forecast record sales this year as well.

How do you assess the government’s implemented economic policy to improve the economic situation in Latvia?

The Latvian businessmen have previously expressed views on the government’s introduced measures necessary to stimulate business; however, it looks like the government is not hearing them out. We have always said that, for example, further fuel price gains will negatively affect the business environment. So, it would be necessary to consider solutions for high fuel prices, for instance, by reducing the excise tax. Yet, on the contrary, the excise tax was raised from June 1, this year. Firstly, fuel price hikes surcharge the production process, as well as the end product. Secondly, the current tax policy regarding excise goods segment has already proved its effect on the shadow economy increase.

Ever since the start of the recession, there are talks on reducing the shadow economy proportion in Latvia; however, steps are being taken in direction that only fosters the shadow economy. At present, honest tax payers are paying for entrepreneurs opting to dodge taxes.

Moreover, the number of fraudulent employers, who are deliberately not concluding contracts with employees to avoid paying taxes, is growing. In this case, I positively evaluate Finland’s experience – introducing a public database offering access to any resident’s income and taxes paid. The Latvian government should follow the Finnish example.

Due to the government’s insufficient initiatives, the society has started to support the shadow economy, as it provides jobs, although without any social guarantees. Even today there are companies paying employees in kind, rather than cash. The shadow economy allows struggling companies to survive, yet at the expense of other companies, pushing them in larger misery.

Businessmen, especially producers, expected 2011 to be a stabilization year, with the government providing maximum support to businesses. The recession’s low point has been overcome; however, entrepreneurs play a major role in getting the Latvian economy back on its feet. Therefore, it would be only logical if the government made decisions enabling the business environment expansion, or at least leaving it alone.


Leave a reply

airBaltic CEO does not consider lost investors a failure

Although no investor was found for Latvian national airBaltic airline in the past two years, it should not be considered a failure, said airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

Coca-Cola Company announced new global vision – World Without Waste

Coca-Cola Company has announced a goal to work on collecting and recycling an equivalent of every sold bottle or can by 2030, as BNN was informed by the company.

Estonians see Narva's potential in culture, push for eastern border-city to become European Capital of Culture

The Estonian border city of Narva, located near the Russian border, closer to St Petersburg than Tallinn, has introduced its candidacy to become the 2024 European Capital of Culture, with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid evaluating that the city is not a depressing place.

Riga Freeport wants to borrow up to EUR 77 million to finance Krievu Island project

Riga Freeport authority has announced an open procedure for talks regarding a loan of up to EUR 77 million to finance the development of Krievu Island and continue relocation of port activities from the city centre to the island.

Dienas Bizness: Tallinn port sells coal terminal’s assets; Latvia should consider handling other cargoes

Tallinn port [state-owned company Tallinna Sadam] has announced a sale of assets owned by Mūgas coal terminal. The company responsible for managing the territory – Coal Terminal – went bankrupt. Now the port searches for a new partner, port’s representative Sirle Arro told Dienas Bizness (DB) journalist Egons Mudulis.

Estonia to start buying land for Rail Baltica railway construction

Continuing its way to beginning the construction of the pan-Baltic Rail Baltica slated for 2020, the management of Rail Baltic Estonia, has unveiled that this year will be spent on negotiations with land owners and the marking-out of the railway.

Despite EU investigation Ikea management believes it covers its fair tax share

Commenting on the tax investigation opened by European Union officials into a part of the Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea, the group's head Jesper Brodin has explained that the company covers its fair share of tax in countries, where it operates.

EU funds worth one billion euros were provided to Latvia last year

The total worth of contracts signed with European Union funds was more than EUR 1 billion last year. Thanks to financing provided by EU funds, Latvia was able to commence and realize 526 projects, allowing this money to stimulate the country’s economy, according to information from the Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFCA).

5 000 people displaced by Turkish incursion in Syria, estimates UN

UN has estimated that around 5 000 people have fled north-western Syria, where Turkish and their allied Syrian forces are battling Kurdish militia.

Minister: foreigners find Latvia’s business environment more and more attractive

«Measures were performed last year to improve the business environment and make it more attractive for local and foreign investors, as well as significantly ease everyday work for them,» said Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Number of students in Latvia declined 35% in the past decade

The number of students accounted for 81.6 thousand in the academic year 2017/2018, indicating a decline of 1.6 % over the year. During the past decade, due to the population decline, the number of students has reduced by 43.8 thousand or 35 %.

National Alliance member: small countries cannot afford legal and corruption scandals

«Every resident living in a democratic country finds it difficult to follow political processes and what political interests each party has. More often than not the loudest and more expressive politicians do not have any wisdom to share or a state development plan to offer and fit Latvia’s interests. If the time comes when we conclude that we do not like a newly-elected Saeima...

Italy's leading party drops euro referendum plan

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, leading opinion polls ahead of a March 4 election, has presented a 20-point program which makes no mention of a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro zone.

Latvia shares experience in civil rights reforms with Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is one of Latvia’s priority countries for development of cooperation. Considering Uzbekistan’s launched reforms for state administration, Latvia is ready to continue offering support and sharing experience, says Foreign Ministry’s special assignment ambassador Igors Apokins.

Estonian state rail cargo company worked with million-euro losses in 2017

Estonian state-owned rail cargo carrier EVR Cargo concluded the year 2017 with net losses of 1.2 million euros, but managed to earn a million euros in from October to December 2017.

Alcohol industry to adopt social responsibility symbols on labels

More than 60% of all labels of wine and other strong alcoholic beverages purchasable in Latvia will be added with a special social responsibility symbols, reminding residents of responsible consumption of alcohol, BNN was informed by Latvian Alcohol Industry Association (LAIA).

ManaBalss.lv initiative «On saving Agenskalns market» submitted to Riga City Council

An initiative started by Anda Baidekalna «On saving Agenskalns market» has been submitted to Riga City Council for review. More than 2,000 people signed in favour of this initiative on ManaBalss.lv portal. Now Riga City Council will have to decide on approval of this initiative and develop a plan for development of Agenskalns market to preserve its functionality.

Estonian construction price rise influenced most by higher labour costs

Estonian construction price index grew by 1.5% in 2017 aligned with the average of 2016, Estonian statisticians calculated.

Latvian Economy Ministry proposes self-regulatory measures for postal sector

The problem with postal items lacking addresses can be resolved using self-regulatory measures in the postal industry, as mentioned in Economy Ministry’s prepared report on new measures and proposal for mechanisms to help make the work performed by the postal sector more efficient.

Venice tourists stunned over 1 100-euro restaurant bill

The leadership of the picturesque Italian town of Venice has pledged to ensure justice after four Japanese tourists complained of having been handed a 1,100-euro bill for steaks, water, service and a plate of fried fish.

Ratification of Istanbul Convention falls through in Latvia

Unity is the only one of the coalition parties in Latvia that has expressed support for the ratification of Istanbul Convention so far, politicians say.

Spain sees Puigdemont's trip to Denmark as provoking his own arrest

A judge of the Spanish Supreme Court has blamed Catalonia's former President Carles Puigdemont of seeking to provoke his own arrest by visiting Denmark from his country of exile, Belgium, as the politician faces charges carrying a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Latvenergo: Latvia is the largest energy exporter in Baltic States

Latvia continues exporting electrical energy produced in the country – as of Monday, 22 January, it was 832 MW. Especially intensive energy production is recorded for Daugava’s hydro-electric power plants and Riga’s CHP plants. The largest import volume is registered for Lithuania, to which the amount of exported energy equals the amount consumed in Latvia, Latvenergo explains.

LALRG secretary general: we have to reduce gap in quality of life for EU citizens

Ever since Latvia joined the European Union, its population has declined 14%. The most significant decline was caused by the departure of residents of working age to other EU member states. Because of that, the population in eastern regions of Latvia has declined 23%.

Czechs up for close race in this week's presidential run-off

As the Czech Republic nears the second round of its presidential election this weekend, sociologists estimate that the pro-Western academic Jiří Drahoš enjoys a somewhat larger support than the incumbent Miloš Zeman, who easily won the first round.

Most read

Most commented

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: