Umali CEO, Lasha Sharashenidze, said that he cannot name specifically what products will be introduced this summer as it is a “commercial secret” but “it will be very pleasant novelty for fish and beer lovers”.
Umali is a young company, it opened in 2017 a modern standard processing plant in Georgia’s Kareli region and currently it is the largest fish processing factory in Caucasus.
Construction of the fish processing factory was partially financed by the United Agro-Project and about USD 2 million was invested in it in total.
The company founders have an ambitious goal – to replace imported fish products with locally produced ones, and in general to increase fish consumption in the country.
“The establishment of our company was a big challenge and innovation at the same time, as there was no fish processing factory in Georgia before. We had to train our staff and enter the market with the highest standards. We went through a very difficult path but now Umali is HACCP certified and established and applies a Food Safety Management System ISO 22000,” said Mr. Sharashenidze.
“Our market is saturated mostly with imported fish and fish products. The opening of the first fish processing factory was very important stimulus for the development of trout farming in Georgia,” he added.
Umali produces 150 tonnes of different species of fish and caviar annually. 100% of the products are sold on the local market, while product export is planned for the future.
In total 60 people are employed at Umali. The number of employees will increase up to 70 in the near future.
Today Umali products are in every region of Georgia and customers can buy Umali products at every major supermarket.
Umali produces about 80 sorts of fish products that include salads; frozen, semi-processed fish products; roasted fish; cold smoked fish; caviar; and salted fish.
Q. Please tell us about Umali’s fish processing factory. Where do you get the raw materials from?
A. We produce fish products with local as well as imported raw materials and as of today we offer 80 sorts of fish products to our customers.
Q. Which of them are the most popular?
A. Fish salads are the most popular as they are made with natural products without any additives, plus prices are very affordable.
Q. How did the sales of Umali increase last year?
A. On average, the company’s annual growth reached 30%.
Q. What innovative products has Umali introduced recently on the market?
A. We have offered our customers “Salmon Khinkali” (Georgian dumpling), “Pelmeni” (Russian dumpling) and “Kebabs”.
Q. Do you know what percentage of the population in Georgia consumes fish?
A. According to our internal statistical data over 80% of the Georgian population consumes fish.
Q. Are you planning to export Umali products abroad?
A. Yes, export of Umali products is part of our nearest-future plans but so far we prefer not to reveal all details.
Q. Congratulations on winning a Golden Brand. In your opinion, why has Umali become a favourite brand of both industry experts and customers?
A. We are glad that our work has been appreciated and as a result we were awarded with a Golden Brand award. This is a really great motivation for us.
I think that being the number one fish processing company in Georgia is a result of our hard work, innovative products, quality and affordable price-oriented policy, and we promise to always maintain main principals of Umali work: Excellent taste and highest quality of the products.