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With funding from the European Union under its EU4Business initiative, the EBRD has helped a Georgian coffee producer increase competitiveness by introducing operational and internal quality management standards.  

Many of us cannot imagine starting a day without a cup of strong and aromatic coffee: the morning pick-me-up gives just the right energy boost and sets us up for a productive day. While no precise figures are available to measure how many cups of coffee are consumed by Georgians every day, the increasing number of coffee shops and stops across the country points to an upward trend.  

The Cherrie LLC company spotted the Georgian population’s growing love affair with coffee, and decided to invest in industrial coffee production and to supply freshly roasted coffee to the Georgian market. Through its efforts, varieties of Arabica and Robusta from equatorial regions, and instant coffee shipped from Germany, are now available for consumers across the country. While the company mainly focuses on the domestic market, a small share of its products is sold to neighbouring countries too.  

“We started our operations back in 2012 and gradually expanded our production,”says company CEO Irakli Lomtatidze. “The main goal is to strengthen our position on the local market and in the coming years, to substitute imports by increasing our market share. We are also investing into the development of new products such as coffee capsules, and we are exporting more. For all these to come true, we invest in quality,”Lomtatidze adds.

To boost quality, Cherie LLC has teamed up with the EBRD SME Finance and Development Group in Georgia, and with EU funding directed its efforts to introduce sound international standards. Enhancing production and product quality and meeting customers’ increasing expectations was the starting point of the project. With help from a local consultant, the company optimised its costs by reducing resource consumption and waste generation, improved environmental performance and committed to social responsibility. 

As a result, the company has obtained the required ISO standard, increased competitiveness, and improved internal processes through quality control tools and supply chain management. 

And one year since the project’s completion, the company has increased its turnover and sales. More people work for Cherie LLC than 12 months ago, and the company has purchased new equipment for producing coffee capsules. 

During 2017, the company sold 480,000 kg of finely ground coffee, its main source of pride, occupying about 50% of market share in Georgia. As for the overall coffee market, the company’s products account for 12% according to internal statistics and those of the statistics department of Georgia. The company sells its products in all major supermarkets across Georgia.


EBRD Advice for Small Businesses

The EBRD Advice for Small Businesses programme, funded in the Eastern Partnership countries by the EU under its EU4Business initiative, aims to promote good management in the SME sector by providing assistance to individual enterprises, helping them to grow their businesses. It supports SMEs to make structural changes and develop new business skills, helping them to thrive and compete in market economies. The programme also enables SMEs to access local consulting services on a cost-sharing basis by providing grants of up to €10,000.

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