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Mission Statement, Purpose and Vision

Our Mission,
Ekofood’s goal is to flood the world with the best semi dried vegetables ever made. To do this, we have established a nurturing environment that supports our team members in order to enable exceptional service to all our customers.

Our purpose,
To help improve the quality of food for people around the World.

Our Vision,
Customer – the most important sensitive part for our company.

Financial – to be most profitable company in the industry.
Team members – to be best place to work in the industry to be determined by team members.

WHO ARE WE?

Askin: Co-founder and Sales & Marketing Director (TR)

Askin was born in Ankara. He received his Bsc and Msc in civil engineering from ODTU (METU) University in Ankara. Before working in the food Industry, Askin was working for telecom giants Nokia and ZTE. Askin had the privilege of travelling around the work while working in the telecom field in 53 countries. It was in Sweden when Askin’s idea of producing and selling tomatoes started in 2009. In 2010 Ekofood was founded and in 2013, Askin started working full time for Ekofood. Askin’s 15 years in the business world, including his professionalism, dedication and vast knowledge is a great benefit to the company. He has led this company from just an idea, to being one of the biggest and the best semi dried tomato producer in Turkey.

Aydin: Co-Founder, Honorary President (TR)

Aydin was born in Izmir. He is the one Askin made first call about dried tomato business idea in 2009. Aydin made the research about feasibility of the project, left his professional career of supplying energy to food facilities for 15 years. He built the first Eko site and managed the company alone between 2010-2013 and as a GM with Askin together till 2018. His energy helped drive the company to grow five times larger within a five-year period. He is a symbol of passion, hard work and dedication. He is still in the board of directors.

Serdar : Shareholder and Technical VP (TR)

Serdar Eraslan was born in Turkey and completed his studies in Istanbul Technical University, with degrees in electrical engineering. Serdar and Askin met in Ukraine circa 2006 while working in the telecom field. It was in Ukraine that Serdar and Askin became colleagues and after which, close friends. They went military service together. While it was Askin’s idea to invest in the food industry (tomatoes), Serdar was involved in the idea through to the execution. Serdar quit working in the telecom industry and began working full time for Ekofood in 2015. What was first a hobby turned into his life’s work.

Ali : Shareholder (TR)

Ali, Askin and Serdar all met while working in the telecom field for a major project in Ukraine. Ali spoke to Askin about possibly investing in a food industry company as a side business to their telecom careers. In 2011, Ali was working for telecom giants ZTE based in Istanbul. Two years later, Ali decided to focus solely on Ekofood. After 2014, Ali returned to the telecom world and took a smaller role within Ekofood. Ali’s belief in Askin was what made his decision to invest in Ekofood a no brainer decision. He is currently working on pushing Ekofood into the Southeast Asian food market.

Peter: Shareholder (UK)

Peter met with Askin & EkoFood during semi dried tomato business and loved the enthusiasm of the young team. Peter is an ex-farmer; he is very knowledgeable in the agricultural business. He is the owner of an investment fund which has invested in 18 companies in the food, technology and construction sectors.

EKofood was founded in 2010 by Mr. Askin Guzel, Mr. Serdar Eraslan, Mr. Ali Egrifes, Mr. Aydin and Irish investor Mr Peter Drayne. The idea for Ekofood came during Askin’s time travelling around the world trying different foods / cuisines. Askin has always had a love for food and was fortunate enough to try many cuisines during his time abroad.

Eko Food is situated in the town of Akhisar, 90km away from Izmir which is the export gateway of Turkey.

Our Factory is specialized in the ecological production of oven semi-dried & sun dried tomatoes, vegetables, fruits and other olive and vegetable processing and packing. High-tech machinery allows the products to be produced without human touch, using automation processes in a closed hygienic environment for maximum safety.

In addition to the numerous products we have to offer, the company also accepts customer specific products and requirements, according to EU, US, Canadian and Australian health and quality standards. Quality management of the farming process is also controlled and managed by our own agricultural experts, in order to ensure that the highest standards are met and maintained. Microbiological, physical and chemical testing of raw material and final products are performed in house by Eko Lab, our own testing Laboratory.

EKOFOOD FACILITIES

Ekofood has 4 sites in Turkey. The frozen & chilled (site 1) product factory is 11000m2 including a 4000m2 closed area. Second one is Ekofoods’s canned & ambient food factory with pasteurization and sterilization abilities in addition to packing jars, tins, cans, pouches, doypack, PP Trays as well as other packing options. Third site is Ekofood’s logistics cente which has a 15 000m2 capacity where we use only 3000-4000 m2 at this moment. The fourth site is Ekofood’s frozen warehouse located in Ercili, Turkey. This site is over 15000m2, and is where our frozen products are stored.

All facilities are built as per global HACCP norms (explained below) and all of them BRC AA certified.

What does BRC mean?

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is a trade association for the UK food retail industry created in 1992. The BRC has published standards for best practices for the food and manufacturing industries for two decades, and also publishes the On-Pack recycling standards for the UK.

With rapidly growing expectations from regulators, consumers, and retail outlets, companies must be more proactive in their approach to food safety practices. Food safety is of critical importance when working at any stage of the food supply chain to protect consumers, meet customer requirements, and to safeguard your brand. This is most important for Gurme212 products. They are BRC certified which assures safety of the product you consume. #eatsafe #livesafe

What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognized method of identifying and managing food safety related risk and, when central to an active food safety program, can provide your customers, the public, and regulatory agencies assurance that a food safety program is well managed. The HACCP system is used in all four of Ekofood’s sites.

These procedures also adhere to our farmers and suppliers. Ekofood’s food engineers audit all farms and suppliers to ensure that all products / ingredients used in our products have the accredited certifications.

Which products are HALAL?

Market research has shown that the demand for Halal products is increasing globally. This is also true in the Turkish food market. The major religion is Turkey is Islam which requires food products to be labelled as halal. Here at Ekofood we have over 50 products labelled as Halal, including our vegetable and fruit ranges. We particularly focus our certification for our products sold within the United States of America, as well as locally.

The term Halal is best translated to “permissible or lawful” and is particularly associated with dietary laws, with specific accordance to meat processing. Essentially, vegetarian cuisine is halal is if does not contain any alcohol.

At Ekofood, special ingredients are used in order to produce Halal products. For example, when adding vinegar to pickles or tomatoes, non-alcoholic vinegar is added.


Which products are KOSHER?

There are three main kosher food categories; Meat, Dairy and Pareve (neutral) for foods that are not meat or dairy, including fish, eggs, and plant-based foods.

As of 2020, Ekofood has over 25 products that have received Kosher certification.

Pareve food items are considered neutral and may be eaten alongside either meat or dairy. However, if a pareve food item is prepared or processed using any equipment used to process meat or dairy, it may be reclassified as meat, dairy, or non-kosher. There is a restricted rule about using the Kosher Logo on the labels. The process of having a product labelled as kosher is an extraneous process that relies heavily by an onsite audit of the facility / site in question, followed by external testing. Yearly audits are also performed in order for the products to maintain Kosher certification.

How to get EU ORGANIC?

Since Ekofood sells its products globally, we are interested in the food regulations and systems of each country. But selling organic products is requiring of special certifications. Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation. Organic certification has different rules for each country. From seed to plant, from plant to fruit, you should save the organic chain to achieve organic product.

What is special with USDA ORGANIC?

If you want to sell Organic Products to the USA, you have to obey certain rules while producing them. The National Organic Program (NOP) develops these rules & regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. This process, referred to as rulemaking, involves input from the National Organic Standards Board and the public.

Here at Ekofood, we have obtained both the EU Organic Certificate, as well as the USDA Organic Certificate. We have over 20 products with both certifications.

What is SEDEX and social responsibility?

Both large and developing companies have to obey some rules related to labor rights, social and environmental responsibilities. Ekofood has a system that regulates these manners called Smeta 4 Pillar (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) and we are well implementing these rules for our workers.

SMETA is an audit methodology, providing a compilation of best practice ethical audit techniques. It is designed to help auditors conduct high quality audits that encompass all aspects of responsible business practice, covering Sedex’s four pillars of Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics.

We try to teach this system to all our supply chain, from farmers to packaging suppliers, to maintenance services.

DELIMATOES BRAND

 

Delimatoes is the integration between Delicattessen (Deli) and Tomatoes (matoes). This unique phrase is the main brand of Ekofood’s products, ranging from our tomato products to our IQF fruit range. Check out our products page to see more!