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Carnex is a brand of pioneering spirit and leadership strength, unwavering and fearless

Carnex is a brand of pioneering spirit and leadership strength, unwavering and fearless

11.05.2022

Tell us a bit about your business career before you were appointed CEO of Carnex.

I have graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad, and I started building my career at NIS, where I spent ten years. At Carnex, which is part of the MK Group, I first started performing as the executive director of animal feed and livestock factories in 2019, and in December 2020 I was appointed Director of the newly established company Carnex Livestock. As of this year, I am the General Manager of Carnex.

Due to that experience, and in what way, do you benefit in terms of the position you are currently occupying?

During the three years spent in various positions at Carnex, I tried to contribute to the revitalization of farms, automation of processes on farms, and in general, improving business in the sector, which is one of the starting points for further successful production. The current position in a way unites several areas that I lead, which is of course a huge responsibility for me. But, I have great support from associates and management and I am sure that together we will succeed in achieving all the goals set.

Was it difficult for you to accept the current role or did you decide on doing it without consideration? Please, explain!

Even when I stepped into Carnex, the job in the Meat Industry became a real inspiration for me. All that experience influenced me as a driving force, towards an area that was a real challenge for me, as I am an agricultural engineer by profession. Food production is one of the most important industries in a country, especially the meat industry, which always has dynamics and strategies with constant market monitoring. Consumer needs and expectations are constantly monitored, which means that we must be inventive and competitive.

Have you had enough time to get acquainted with business processes and with what seems to be your biggest challenge?

With good ideas, perseverance and innovation, but also efficient management, Carnex has existed for more than 6 decades, and it is all thanks to the employees and their commitment. It was the team spirit that I felt at the first joint meeting, and that’s where it all starts – from production to sports activities, joint activities and social responsibility.

Since its very existence our brand has been steadfast and fearless, with a pioneering spirit and leadership strength. That is why our task, at the same time a challenge, is to continue to nurture the tradition and quality that Carnex has, and remain original, while maintaining a top brand, a company that has set, and is setting again, quality imperatives.

What does it mean to you personally that you are at the head of one of the leading meat industries in Serbia, having in mind the fact that this branch is very competitive on the domestic market?

Being the head of management responsible for a team dedicated to further strengthening and developing one of the oldest and most beloved brands in which consumers have decades of trust is a powerful challenge and great responsibility and great pride, as many have grown up with it and it represents a part of their daily lives.

First of all, it is different in relation to all previous experience, as a large part of the team make young people, who have diverse experiences, but also fresh ideas. That is why I am sure that very soon we will all launch activities that will inspire consumers and new generations and further strengthen the closeness to the brand, being the strongest attribute of the Carnex brand.

Looking at the broader context, it could be said that you took over the management of the company in very challenging times. We have been in crisis for two years, caused by the corona virus pandemic, and recently another one shook the whole world – the war in Ukraine. How do you see these circumstances?

The whole world is facing global changes in the last two years, bringing us challenges we have not experienced before. But we have also learned another important lesson – to take more care of ourselves, our loved ones, co-workers and nature. Our reality is made up of the environment and the people around us, especially those who are most important to us after family, our colleagues; They make us better and stronger, so we should always support, help and protect them.

Certainly, the conflicts in Ukraine have changed everyone’s plans, so we are looking for alternative solutions in the EU, towards new export markets.

Changes in lifestyle also lead to changes in diet. How will you meet the growing need of the population for a healthier and nutritionally balanced diet? After the introduction of the humus line, is there anything else planned?

Today, it is important to stand out in relation to the growing offer of meat products, but also to respond to the needs and requirements of consumers who take care of a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. Our goal is to maintain the relevance of the Carnex portfolio as well as to raise awareness of the high nutritional aspect of the portfolio, which is important for both growing up and balanced life energy. At the same time, we will strive to meet consumer expectations in the field of vegan nutrition. Carnex is definitely heading in that direction to offer even the most demanding consumer the expected nutritional profile and solution for a specific need. The challenge is to remain innovative and the relevant first choice with consumers in all segments of the offer.

What is the strategy of further business for Carnex and what is planned for this year relating to campaigns?

At the heart of this year’s strategy are portfolio optimization, focus on key segments, new markets, new consumers with new people and new energy. The focus is also on the development of new sales channels, all with the aim of preserving the brand, which has been one of the favorites in the entire region for decades. Also, we will soon launch a new campaign to raise awareness of the new chicken pâté and further strengthen the image and value of a key segment – liver pâté.

Responsible for the campaign is the power of liver pâté through strong long-term love, connection and closeness with the consumer, through consumption rituals that are an integral part of our lives, as well as the famous taste of Carnex pâté. In a creative way, we will once again remind our consumers of the value of the brand, with which many grew up, and which is dedicated to new generations loving different tastes.

Also, as one of the largest food producers, this year we will try to help everyone in need, as we have done so far, especially in the fight against poverty and hunger. Our cooperation with the local community and beyond has always been strong in all areas, health, education, sports activities, but also in the field of energy efficiency and environmental protection continuing to be our focus.

Carnex is known as a company that constantly invests in the production and procurement of machines that represent state-of-art technical solutions in meat processing. Is there anything new planned in this field as well?

Improving the production process is a prerequisite for improving business, so investing in production automation is our enduring goal. It is certain that we will continue to invest in final production, new technologies. Investments in the field of energy efficiency, digitalization and automation of production parts are also important for us and we pay special attention to that.

The company is also largely committed to quality of the products, as evidenced by numerous certificates. What certificates do you have, and what do they allow you to do?

It is known that Carnex has completed the production process through its own production of food for our pig farms, meat production and meat products. The vertical process of the entire production with the applied implemented standards, professional employees, ensures the highest quality of meat and meat products. The Carnex Meat Industry has quality control in all stages of the entire production – from the entry of raw materials into operation, to the delivery of products. Our quality control includes highly qualified experts who perform all tests of microbiological, sensory, chemical and other parameters of quality and safety of all raw materials.

The quality of our products and production is confirmed through certified standards in the field of food safety, HACCP, IFS Food, but also other certified standards like ISO 9001, ISO 50001, ISO 45001 and ISO 14001.

The Serbian Quality Seal which marks exclusively high-quality domestic products, is carried by three Carnex brands – Homemade Meaty Bacon, Rustic Sausage and Homemade Sarma. For us, it certainly means another confirmation of the quality of our products, which thus stand out on the market.

Carnex started its story back in 1958, and had several significant and turning points in its development path. What are your ambitions for its further development?

From the first moment when meat exports to England and Italy began, back in 1958, Carnex has made significant strides and there have been many turning points and significant moments, but the new millennium has brought a new peak in business and investment. This period began with joining the MK Group, when serious opportunities of investments were opened for Carnex.

However, the most important reason why we are a favorite consumer brand is the top quality of the product and there is no compromise. Carnex is one of the best rated brands by consumers. According to the latest official survey, as many as 86% of respondents have a positive opinion of the Carnex brand.

We are especially proud of the loyalty of our consumers singling us out from other manufacturers and strengthens us for further endeavors.

If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would it say?

Consistent, open, analytical, part of a team always fully committed to goals.

What motivates you, both privately and in business?

Team spirit is a great support for me in my work. Responsibility, honesty, dedication, creativity, but also the ratio and analytical spirit, all together affect how we will achieve something and how good results we will achieve.

Privately, whenever I can, I spend time in nature with my family. It completely regenerates me and fills me with the best energy.