It is common knowledge that bread is a staple food for humans. The production and sale of bread and confectionaries is the most socially significant business area. Bread accounts for about 15% in the consumption basket. Therefore, it is important to keep bread tasty and safe.
In small towns and rural settlements, bread variety is rather modest, while its quality and freshness are often questionable. Bread is usually delivered to rural areas once every 2-3 days. Chain stores and small groceries have large stocks of products with preservatives affecting human health.
For Siarhiej Amieliančuk, the owner of DabryniaDar bakery in Kobryn, high-quality bread means more than business, it calls up associations with home comfort and fond childhood memories. “I was born in a village. And I vividly recall how on holidays mom made dough and sent it to the oven when it rose. The house was filled with the aroma of fragrant bread. When I grew up, I was determined to bake natural bread without any chemicals and additives”, says Siarhiej.
Siarhiej Amieliančuk built his bakery in 2014. At first, they baked and sold bread in Kobryn shops. Later, they expanded the product range with bread rolls and confectionaries. They also expanded the sales geography - they began to deliver bread to nearby villages.
In 2020, Kobryn District bakers decided to unite into the Bread Recipes sectoral association in order to raise each member’s return on product. The union was triggered by a high competition in the sector and the the likelihood of global chain retailers coming to Kobryn. High-tech equipment for blast chilling part-baked bread and its final baking on the spot was procured for the Association with the help of the project Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus. 20 bread recipes were developed, process flowcharts were made, technologists were trained. The production, storage and logistics processes were improved accordingly, new outlets were opened. At present, the Association has 17 outlets covering 3 rural councils, or more than 15 villages with a population of more than 8,000. 15 jobs were created due to the growth of production and the number of sales outlets.
Home Bakery franchise was created within the Association; the sales are ratcheting up now. In addition, Bread Recipes Association developed a uniform online platform for ordering fresh bread and pastry. Today, the platform allows pre-ordering bread and pastry. In future, it will provide for fast deliveries within an hour.
The Association holds cook, baker, forwarder, sushi chef training courses to help young people with career guidance and build a personnel reserve. 24 persons have been trained, so far. The course graduates are offered internships or even jobs at the Association companies, subject to available vacancies.
The Association is committed to the quality of their products and food safety. All supplies undergo a rigorous selection process; supplies must be of high quality and meet the requirements of HACCP – the food safety system adopted by DarbryniaDar bakery in 2015. In 2022, the company developed the Specification of Confectionary and Bread Production, Storage, Transportation and Sale, and had it registered with Belarusian State Institute for Standardization and Certification (BelGISS); it also acquired the Declaration of Compliance with the Food Safety Regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union. The two documents also confirm the high quality and food safety compliance of the Association’s products. “We use a lot of local products – jams, cottage cheese, apples and so on, as ingredients. Our products have a short shelf life, which, of course, adds to the the problems with sales. But it is still very important for us to provide the consumers with delicious and healthy products. We are building a strong and recognizable brand name which will stand as a guarantee of high quality and absolute freshness”, says Siarhiej Amieliančuk.
The Bread Business – New Opportunities initiative is carried out under the project Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus, which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.