Tansu YAVUZ, Kılıç Holding: “Kılıç Holding is in fact integrated with all businesses and can be considered as a large R&D pool. Kılıç is a firm that keeps track of the developments taking into account the recommendations coming from the juvenile fish production to the feed factories, from the cage breeding to the packing facilities, from the customers and independent quality control firms in the chain. This is the biggest indicator that our company is on the top in the sector in our country and abroad.”
Feed Planet Magazine has Kılıç Holding this month, which is one of the significant aquafeed producers in Turkey. We interviewed Tansu Yavuz, Director of Kılıç Holding Feed Factories and talked about the history, product range, the technology usage and the place of aquafeed factories that Kılıç Holding founded, and many other details.
Stating that Turkey make sufficient aquafeed production regarding in quantity and quality, Yavuz also said: “we are planning 15,000 tons capacity fish farm and feed / feed side industry investments in both Mugla and Mersin region in Turkey in addition to our ongoing and projected investments in countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Dominica, America, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Arabia.
We take the details from Yavuz…
Mr. Yavuz, will you explain to us the history of Kılıç Holding and the fish-eating factory and how they arrived today?
In 1991, our Chairman of the Board of Directors, Orhan Kılıç started its activity as a private company in Salih Island with an annual production capacity of 50 tons of fish. In 1993, Kılıç Deniz Ürünleri İthalat İhracat San. Tic. A.Ş. and the first export to Italy was realized. In 1997, Ören Hatchery Facility was established for the production of sea bream and sea bass fry. Since then, the capacities of our cage establishments have started to grow and in 1999 the first off shore facility was established. With our new hatcheries and adaptation facilities established in 2000, the production of juvenile fish has been increased. In 2003, 15,000 ton/year capacity pallet fish meal factory and a second packing plant were established and the processing plant was renewed in the same period. In 2004, Kilic EPS Packing Plant was established. In this process the growth continued and new off shore facilities were started to be installed. In 2005, a new technology extruder feed factory was established. In 2006, Kılıç Deniz Ürünleri Üretim İhracat İthalat Ticaret A.Ş. Güvercinlik R&D Hatchery started to operate with a capacity of 10 million unit/year and started to work on seabream, striped sea bream, umbra, sharpsnout, meagre, turbot and porgy types besides bream and sea bass. In 2007, the Old Pallet Feed Plant was converted to the Extruder Feed Plant, so that the number of feed plants was doubled. The trout incubation and breeding facilities in Kahramanmaraş started to operate in this period. In this process, the harvesting fish capacity reached 16,000 tons and after 1 year 20,000 tons.
In 2011, Kılıç Deniz took its place among the “100 Most Valuable Markets of Turkey” by taking the counterpart of the effort. In 2012, the world’s largest juvenile bream-sea bass transport ship, Kılıç 1, participated in the fleet. In 2013, Kılıç Deniz became the export champion in the field of Aquaculture and Animal Products organized by Aegean Exporters Unions. In 2014, the production capacity of harvested fish (sea bass, bream, stone bass, trout) reached 40.000 tons. In addition, as the first company in the sector that realized export of 106 million dollars, it had the status of Foreign Trade Capital Company. Also on this date we started selling our canned products. In 2015, a first in Turkey, the production of tuna began. Today, our company has been crowned with global quality (Global GAP, BRC, ISO 22000, ISO 9001, HACCP, IFS) and environmental documents (ISO 14001), reaching 50.000 tons production capacity today and continues to grow with full integration.
Can we get some information about Kılıç Yem’s areas of activity, product groups it produces and their raw material sources?
As the feed factory, we only produce fish feeds of various species. Since 2003, we have been producing and working on sea bream, tilapia, umbra, sharpsnout, meagre, turbot, porgy types except for bream, sea bass and trout. We can produce feeds in all calibrations from 0,3 mm up to 14 mm diameter, from 0.1 gr fish to over 1 kg fish. Raw materials commonly used in fish feeds are natural products under control originating from high protein plant (soy, wheat, corn, pea protein, etc.) and animal (fish, shrimp, krill flour etc.). In other words, the raw materials we produce are still natural products such as fish or supplements (yeast, phospholipid, mineral, etc.). In addition to these, we increase the resistance of our fish to diseases at certain times or by natural additives that support the continuous immune system.
Will you inform us about our production facilities, capacity and the technologies you use? What is your company’s level of capacity and technology usage?
All production facilities use state-of-the-art processing machines. As the feed mills, we have an annual production capacity of 15,000 tons, which will reach 150,000 tons per year in 2017. Our factory also has the latest European patented machinery and equipment. Since 2005, we have been continuing our production with new extruder pellet system in our factory which started operation as press pallet system in the first years. Extruder technology offers us opportunities to increase energy value due to high oil intake after expansion, which improves bioavailability and prevents microbiological activities by cooking the feed at 120-130 °C at high temperature and pressure. In addition, ECS (Expansion control system) technology used by our company allows swim water swimming, slow or fast sinking. Today, with our NIR technology in our quality laboratories we are able to make the right decisions by making quickly analyzes of our mixes and feeds at every stage of raw material production process. We can also control the purity and microbiological contamination of the raw materials we have obtained using PCR technology.
What is the place and role of Kılıç Yem in the market of fish in Turkey market?
When our company set up the feed factory, which will be of considerable help to its growing capacity during the first years of operation, the factory first started serving our own farms. Over time, as we increased our capacity, we shifted part of our production to sales on demands from environmental farms. We currently use 80-85 percent of the oath we have produced, and we allocate the remaining 15-20 percent to sales. This rate will increase even further after the capacity is reduced.
What do you think about the reasons why the companies that offer the service prefer Kılıç Yem?
Our company, which has the biggest fish production capacity of Turkey and feeds its meticulously formulated feeds to its fishes in different species, always, has great interest and demand. Kılıç is an organization that does not sacrifice quality. Quality in this sense; which is suitable for the nutritional character of the target fish, improves the immune system depending on the changes in the water conditions, and aims at environmentally sensitive feed production with high availability in terms of the raw materials used. Experiences, know-how and R&D activities in Kılıç will always be considered as the reason for preference.
If you have faith in abroad, can you give me some information about it? Do you have exports, countries where you have exported?
We have 15 million trout hatchlings in Shkodër, Albania and we have a 10,000 ton capacity trout production facility in the Vau Dejes dam reservoir. We are also waiting for approval for a 10,000-ton sea bream / perch project in this area. We are currently regularly exporting fodder, including our facilities where we have produced bream sea bass in Cyprus. We are also aiming to reach 50,000 tonnes of annual capacity in different species and we will soon be exporting feed to the Dominican Republic, where we have started to invest. Besides these, we are seeing intense demand for different kinds of fish foods from Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Russia and African countries.
If so, are you talking about your new investments or investments you plan to make? What can you say about the future goals of Kılıç Yem?
Abroad; In addition to our ongoing and projected investments in countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Dominica, America, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Arabia, we are planning 15,000 tons capacity fish farm and feed / feed side industry investments in both Mugla and Mersin region in Turkey. We are bringing products with high EPA / DHA levels in good quality from our 800-ton capacity fish meal and fish oil mill, which has been invested in Mauritania. In addition, we will make significant improvements in the quality and costs of our feeds by controlling a substantial portion of the raw materials we have used in our factories, with investments to produce and raw materials.
How much budget do you allocate to AR-GE activities as Kılıç Holding and Kılıç Yem? How is Kılıç Yem’s approach to AR-GE and innovation?
Kılıç Holding is in fact integrated with all businesses and can be considered as a large R&D pool. Kılıç; It is a firm that keeps track of the developments taking into account the recommendations coming from the juvenile fish production to the feed factories, from the cage breeding to the packing facilities, from the customers and independent quality control firms in the chain. Already our company as a sector in our country and abroad is the biggest indication that it is the top. As a feed mill, we carry out many analyzes in our quality laboratory with sufficient infrastructure for feed and raw materials. We are trying to keep our company ready for future alternatives by making diverse feed trials in our R&D facility test tanks in Milas, as we have made evaluations of feeds we have produced with our sahada customers. Besides all these studies, we have collaborations with universities, the state (Tubitak, Tagem …) and abroad institutions.
Can I get information about your environmental concerns?
If you are producing a high quality feed with high digestibility, you will be able to grow fish by consuming less feed. In this respect, the amount of waste you will give to the environment will be less. When it is thought that these wastes are organic, you will also have to re-evaluate these wastes in the wild and live very little waste. The impact of feed mills on the environment in general is as much as the impact on the urban environment in which the working people have lived. A different odor perception is occurring in our people due to the fact that raw materials are cooked in factories. We are eliminating this situation by installing odor control systems in our chimney outlets. Our company, which is subject to the permission from the Ministry of Environment, regularly disposes of packaging, kitchenware and some chemical wastes with certified waste transportation companies.
What would you want to add last?
Our company and Turkey in fish meal production has much more experience than these 15 years ago. Feed production can be made at quality of the aquaculture in our country. You can consume our fishes fed with the feeds produced by Kılıç Holding, which is the first place in our country in the exports of fishery products, with peace of mind. We understand that our fish grown in an environment of clean sea and fresh water with sufficient oxygen and feed is fed with controlled feeds through all kinds of analysis and that there is only 2 cm thick open net mesh between the fish in the same environment and the unknown fish.
Approximately 50 percent of the fish cultivated in our country is exported to Europe and other countries, and these fish are still the “only animal food exported to Europe”. Now fish stocks obtained by hunting in the world are experiencing a serious decline due to factors such as excessive and unconscious hunting and environmental pollution. This shows how important cultured and sustainable aquatic products are to meet the needs.
Protein, oil (rich in omega 3), vitamins and minerals, which play a role in brain and body development, are increasingly given importance in our country as the most valuable food source, but it is not enough. Today we have to transport per capita aquatic products from 9-10 kg to 25-30 kg which is consumed by the European Union.
Our company presents our fish harvested from our facilities in our fish markets in Muğla and İzmir region with our freshest state cooked with both retail and “Captain Kılıç” brand. Working with many big market chains in Turkey, Kılıç will continue to take this service to all our people with market chains that we will open every year with our own brand.