Turkmenistan brewer Berk Group extending into potato chips market

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Turkmenistan currently imports most of its potato chips. Pics: © iStock
Turkmenistan currently imports most of its potato chips. Pics: © iStock

Related tags Ebrd Central asia

Berk Group, a brewer in former soviet republic Turkmenistan, has secured a loan to expand into the potato chips market.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – which promotes private and entrepreneurial initiatives in post-Cold War central and eastern Europe - has agreed to loan $2.8m to the business.

Described by the EBRD as "already a leading producer on the Turkmen beer market​", Berk is aiming to  become a major player in potato chips production in the country.

Most chips currently sold in Turkmenistan are imported, said EBRD, and Berk plans to gain market share by matching the quality of European brands with competitive pricing.

Previous financing

The EBRD has previously provided financing for Berk to expand its brewing production technology and capacity.

The brewer will use the new loan to purchase production equipment for the company’s site just outside Ashgabat, the country’s capital. Berk plans to take advantage of synergies along the distribution chain for both beer and snacks.

The EBRD’s Advice for Agribusiness programme provided grants for the brewer to engage consultants  to advise on production equipment and processes, and on the selection and storage of potatoes.

To date, the EBRD has invested €240m ($270m) in Turkmenistan, primarily in loans to privately owned small and medium-sized businesses.

'A fruitful partnership'

“The cooperation between Berk and the EBRD is an example of a fruitful partnership. It is pleasing to see how successfully Berk has grown over the last six years with EBRD support​,” said Engin Goksu, head of the EBRD office in Ashgabat

The production of snacks is a new segment not only for the company but for the Turkmenistan market in general​.”

Established in 1991, the EBRD is  active in more than 30 countries ranging from southern and eastern Mediterranean to central and eastern Europe, and central Asia. The bank operates in industries including agribusiness, infrastructure and transport.

Related topics Manufacturers Snacks Emerging Markets

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