Kazakhstani Flour Business Flourishes Following Upgrades

Tsesna Astyk’s production facility
Tsesna Astyk’s production facility
Food producer signs profitable deals after meeting international standards
“We are planning to take part in all future USAID initiatives as they foster such good business results for our company.”

April 2015—New business opportunities recently blossomed for a leading Kazakhstani company in the cereal processing sector after it was certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The Tsesna Astyk Group of Companies produces high-quality food products from domestic grain. USAID’s Regional Economic Cooperation Project (REC) has been working with Tsesna Astyk since 2012 to help the company meet international production standards.

When USAID recommended that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) include Tsesna Astyk on its list of food supplier vendors, a DOD contractor conducted an audit of the company. Tsesna Astyk was then provided with a list of production upgrades that were necessary to become a food supplier for DOD.

With USAID's support, Tsesna Astyk obtained all necessary ISO certifications in November 2012, and subsequently became certified by DOD’s Public Health Command. In October 2013, the company was included in the directory of approved food suppliers for the U.S. Armed Forces.

Due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan from 2011 to 2014, Tsesna Astyk did not begin supplying DOD in Afghanistan. However, its ISO certification and inclusion on the list of DOD-approved food suppliers have added significantly to the company’s credibility.

With its newfound credentials, in December 2014, the company won the U.N. World Food Program’s bid to supply more than 200 tons of flour valued at approximately $150,000. Similarly, the company signed a $500,000 deal to become a large-scale supplier with Caspian International Restaurants Co., a Kazakhstani subsidiary of the U.S. restaurant chain KFC.

“We are very grateful to USAID for all its assistance. We hope for further collaboration and we are planning to take part in all future USAID initiatives as they foster such good business results for our company,” said  Alibek Ibragimov, Tsesna Astyk's deputy chairman of the board.

The Regional Economic Cooperation Project, which ran from September 2011 to September 2016, was designed to facilitate trade among Central Asian countries and Afghanistan through training, partnerships, and the creation of pro-trade policies and regulations.


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