The PROGRESS factory, the largest Russian baby food manufacturer in Europe, trains and provides an R&D support to the Russian farmers for growing vegetables with predetermined safety indicators.
The national and regional journalists visited the baby food factory to see how they control quality and safety upon production.
The factory is supplied by about 60 farms and agricultural enterprises that grow raw materials for the FrutoNyanya baby food, which complies with the Russian legislation for the baby food production. These are the dairy/fruit farms and manufacturing/farming enterprises in the Lipetsk, Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Tula, Smolensk, Tambov Regions and Krasnodar Region. The Company also works closely with the research institutions in the Krasnodar Region to train the local farmers. PROGRESS controls how the suppliers grow, fertilize, harvest and transport their fruit and vegetables. We also closely monitor the livestock farms that supply us with whole milk as the baby food production must comply with the Russian legislation norms. That is how the producer stimulates development of domestic agricultural enterprises. Before the raw materials and other ingredients reach the factory, the Company's specialists control their quality.
“When producing most of the FrutoNyanya products, we use high-quality Russian-made raw materials,” Alexei Volochai, the Factory Manager, tells the reporters. “These are, for example, plums, apples, courgette, broccoli and cauliflower. In the production of dairy/fermented milk products and meat puree, the Company uses the Russian raw materials. However, due to the lack of the required high-quality raw materials or the raw materials that do not grow in the Russian Federation, we have to use the imported raw materials. For example, banana, pear, mango, peach and apricot.”
PROGRESS is the only factory in Russia that produces the entire line of food for babies from 0 to 3 years old, over 250 SKUs – fruit and vegetable puree, juice, dry and liquid cereals, soup, dairy products and canned meat. In total, the factory produces more than 1 billion 400 million packs per year. All the recipes developed by the specialists are tested by the Institute of Nutrition under the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the Federal Budgetary Healthcare Institution and the Federal Center of Hygiene & Epidemiology of RosPotrebNadzor [Russian Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection & Human Welfare]. In the shortest possible time, within 11 months, a completely autonomous dairy production facility was built at the factory – a workshop adjacent to the main historical building. The investment amounted to more than EUR 30 million.
The PROGRESS factory, which opened 28 years ago in the Lipetsk Region, today is completely modernized, meets all the food safety requirements and uses the state-of-the-art production technology. During the press tour, the journalists saw the full cycle of FrutoNyanya production. Before getting to the table of customers, each product undergoes over a dozen different checks and tests. The journalists were shown a modern accredited Research Center, including the laboratories with the newest equipment.
Each batch of the raw materials entering the enterprise not only meets the requirements of the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union but also undergoes rigorous internal input control for organoleptic, physical, chemical, microbiological, safety and authenticity indicators. Only after the compliance is verified, the raw materials go to production. The Company specialists not only monitor the quality of raw materials and finished products, but also strictly control every stage of production.
From each batch of the finished products we leave the so-called “archival samples”, so we can repeat the laboratory tests in case of any questions on the market or with consumers. To have full confidence about quality, the factory specialists perform additional random control in the stores.
Dmitry Makarkin, Innovation & Change Management Director at PROGRESS, emphasizes: “Food quality and safety are our top priorities. The Russian legislation applicable to the baby food production is quite strict, but we at PROGRESS have even stricter control of all our processes, from raw materials to finished products. We consistently launch new products and improve our recipes. It is advisable to use industrial products for baby nutrition as they are enriched with the biologically active components that provide the products with the required functional attributes. It is important to make sure that the children receive all the necessary ingredients for proper development from an early age. Therefore, quality of the finished product depends on quality of the raw materials that we select.”
The PROGRESS products are on sale in Russia and the CIS countries – Kazakhstan, Belarus and Uzbekistan. The Company also entered the Baltic market. China has begun to show a keen interest in FrutoNyanya as well.