“As a company, we own the first organic feed production facility license. Since we are producers, we have the opportunity to work with all kinds of formulas and raw materials. This provides us to generate the formula of the product as requested depending on the raw material density in the regions where animal owners are located and cost of the raw materials. ”
Dr. Reza E. BEIGLOU – DSA Tarım Ürünleri A.Ş, Foreign Trade Manager
Established 12 years ago, DSA Agrifood Products Co. is one of the important companies of Turkey in the feed sector. The company officials state that one of the changes that they have introduced to the sector is that instead of giving the different additives used in the feeds one by one, they are offering the whole as a single product with an ideal formulation and a homogeneous mixture. We have talked the company DSA, feed sector, and the situation of Turkey and the world in this context with DSA Foreign Trade Director Reza E. Beiglou. Stating that DSA is the first and only complex premix integrated firm in Turkey to keep an organic feed production facility license,Mr. Beiglou says that the main factor lying under the success of DSA is that the founders of the company are persons coming from the industry. Emphasizing the significance of the feed industry for being free from dependency to other countries, the foreign trade executive admits they enjoy certain level of facilitator support from the state in this context, yet he says it is not enough.
Our questions and answers given by Reza E. Beiglou, Foreign Trade Director of DSA, are as follows:
On your web site you are telling that your company is established by an experienced team as a result of long efforts. Could you tell us a little about the establishment story of DSA Agrifood Products Co.?
DSA was founded in 2006 on feed additives and concentrates feed production. And since its establishment, its name is imprinted on the memories as the first and only complex premix integrated firm in Turkey. Now it is continuing its activities. I think one of the main reasons of our success is that Mehmet Şahin Akdenizli, the founder and CEO of DSA, is an agricultural engineer coming from the feed industry. In addition, his open-minded personality and experience gained in the sector have enabled the company to succeed in a short time. In Turkey where egg poultry was more common in accordance with the needs of the period, it was not difficult for the company at all to mark a name for the success of its products. Later on, the company’s product portfolio was expanded, including all poultry species, ruminant species, and even experimental animals. By this means, reaching larger masses became possible. At the same time, our company, which accelerated the steps it has taken with the aim of opening to foreign countries from the first day, imprinted as an export-oriented company on the memories, more than the domestic market.
Would you give us information about your products and facilities to our readers who are closely related with the sector and us?
Of course! With computer-based, fully automated software, we carry out a large volume of production that will cover all species of livestock. To put it briefly, I would say the following. Our products can be examined under two headings with their main theme. The first is the classic products produced in 25-kg-packages with our exclusive formulations based on the animal needs. Secondly, we can refer to compact products specially formulated on the basis of animal needs, taking our customers’ demands and the raw materials they will use into account. The important point here is that we have the flexibility to work with all kinds of formulas and raw materials because we are producers. This means we have the ability to formulate the product content formula as desired, depending on the cost of the raw materials and raw material density in the regions where animal owners are located.
What makes you different from your domestic or foreign rivals?
In addition to what I just said, we hold the first license in Turkey for an organic feed production facility. Moreover, we keep the first feed analysis laboratory of the private sector officially accredited by TÜRKAK (Turkish Accreditation Agency). Furthermore, I should mention the pharmaceutical warehouse and the clinical services that we put at the disposal of our customers under the supervision of Dr. Bakon Group Company. As it is understood from what I have said, our work is not just about producing and selling products. As you know, anyone who we consider as rivals or see us as a rival can do this. We have always tried to make a difference with the principle that we are the solution partners of our customers on the first day and thus we have carried on the activity in different leagues from our rivals.
Perhaps because of this, in the context of professionalism, we have thought long and hard about our equipment as detailed as it can be, and we try to fulfill the demands of our customers with full attention and devotion without sacrificing anything in service. When we look back, everybody reaches out to a certain customer mass and is preferred by them. But if you ask who has maintained the same success over a long period of time and has satisfied the customer every single time, has worked long term, or most importantly has established customers’ trust, that is arguable.
Industry 4.0 stands out as a process in which technological developments continue to leap forward at a dizzying pace. What do you do to keep up with technological developments as a company?
We always have to keep track of all technological progresses. It is not a matter of whether we want to or not. Creating awareness necessitates making observations, comparisons, and taking shape accordingly. This is often called being updating. New formations, strategies, policies, new devices and equipment… The most up-to-date versions are a must for all. Just think! In a world that changes from one minute to the next, there is an atmosphere where everything changes rapidly and you want to appeal to customers from different habits and cultures and to reach out to different parts of the world. How on earth can you stay away from technological developments while you want to make them happen? On one hand, you want to increase your trade volume and play bigger. On the other hand, you are trapped in your shell without any investment in your profession, content with what you have. Can these two situations exist at the same? The answer to the question is ‘no’ for sure. At this point, everything depends on your flexibility. In a more concrete way; both your mind and your thoughts need to be up-to-date, as well as your plants and facilities. For this reason, in the age of technology, as you know everything is within arm’s reach thanks to the internet and media. All is as close as a key. Maybe this is the easiest part of our job.
Could you please tell us about your view of R & D studies in the context of keeping up with the technology and your company’s work in this regard?
Actually, I kind of touched on it. R&D is already a part of our business and the main element of keeping our information up to date. It is a sine qua non for us. To be up to date and to determine the necessities of the time and our customers, and indeed, in the first place to know the needs of our country in accordance with today’s trends, and to find out where we are when compared with the world, and more … The answer of all is hidden in R&D works. We need to develop a product, but how? Where are similar studies? To what extent can we prevent the outflow of foreign currency on a yearly basis through import substitution? What are the necessary details for this? Designing projects and putting them into practice responding to all these questions is the first step in R&D work. I think all these are enough for you to find yourself in R&D work.
In the meantime, I will not skip over without stating this. We, as DSA, were granted the award of sector’s R&D and innovation in an organization held in Antalya in 2013. We had already done a lot of work before. Some of them have been studied within the scope of university-industrialist cooperation and have met the readers on the pages of scientific journals. Currently, we have projects and studies for the production of the domestic version of some raw materials that are the main vessel in the world in animal feeding. That is enough for now I think. I hope I can share more details about the topic in the near future. We have to wait a while for this.
Which countries do you primarily target with your products? Are you working on the domestic or foreign markets the most?
As I have just expressed, I can identify our company a bit of an export-oriented one today. We do not discriminate between domestic and foreign markets. Everywhere is target market for us. The Middle East and African countries being in the first place, all the regions that one can see on the map and that have a potential is a target market for us. These are determined within the context of yearly growth target of the company. Today in the Middle East, we can say that we have started to work together with most of the countries and this will continue. You can include the Turkic republics to this either. We have already reached some of our target countries, especially in the African countries. And we are still working on some of them.
You have mentioned a pretty wide geography. Well, where specifically do you aim to reach in the first place in addition to your present markets?
It may be deemed as a joke by some people today. However, remembering every joke may keep a fraction of reality in itself, we aim to sell these products to the United States of America as a state in the first place. Never say never. One cannot predict when the balances will change. On the continuation of the list, there may be European countries, Australia and New Zealand.
You have used the expression ‘export-oriented’ for your company and you are saying that almost everywhere in the world is a target market for you. Is there an investment that you plan to put into practice in one of these target markets in the near future?
Yes. However, the final decision was not made by the board of directors yet. The subject is being studied. For this reason, we prefer it to remain secret for the moment. I promise that I will share it with you soon in the near future.
Thank you. And how does the unstable situation in the Middle East affect the sector and your company, with neighboring Syria in the first place? What are you doing for coping with the consequences of this situation?
It affects us for sure. It would be a lie to say the opposite. But not as much as it is thought; and the reason is obvious. Even if they are at war – which we deem as the worst contingency that humankind may ever face- two things will not come out of people’s lives. One of these is weaponry and the other is food. Although it is not taken as three meals as it is used to be the case traditionally, the food requirement remains the same. I mean, our industry is different from other sectors. For example, you may not have a roof over your head for a while; you will live in a tent then. You may not have a shoe to wear, you will still survive. But for food, it is not the case. Therefore, even in the worst-case conditions, the necessary material flow to and from the region continues to be maintained, while the war will continue on one hand; on the other you will provide food for people and feed for the animals. So materials continued to be transported to the region and it still does. I am telling you this because I have experienced the case personally. Those animals would feed there so that people would be able to take nourishment. Even if it had been interrupted for a couple of days or for longer, it was opening up again and the necessary products were being delivered to the region, which is no surprise. It is pretty normal and should be the case.
Every sector has its own problems. How do you find the situation of feed industry on national and international scale? What are the problems facing the sector in Turkey and in the world? What are you doing to overcome these problems?
Unfortunately, the feed industry is not in a position that it should be in our country today. At this point, we are all responsible to some extent. Things have either gone out of sight or gone missing. Agriculture and livestock are the main determinants of the future of a country. It can substantially change a country’s future. It is one of the leading factors in the reduction of foreign dependency. In fact, it is the most decisive one. Especially for progress in this topic, it is useful to further strengthen the relations between our state and the producers. Finding a lasting solution to the existing problems should be a mission for all of us. Agricultural credit and agriculture cooperative supports, expanding the scope of stimulus programs, allotment of an annual budget, and stimulus programs for necessary research and initiatives for conquering a market share in the international platform all bear a crucial role. Fortunately, in recent times, with the incentives of our president and appropriate intervention of our state the majority of these problems have been resolved when compared to the past. And this has been promising for the producer. I hope that in the near future the support to the producers which I have just mentioned will be further expanded. I hope we will have the opportunity to live a fully independent Turkey in this aspect, God willing.
It is impossible not to share your good wishes. We have talked the current situation of the sector. On the other hand, in terms of understanding the future, what do you expect for our country in the future in the field of feed products? Would you share your foresight with us?
The answer to this question is open to debate in a few ways. It’s a very broad question. Let me put it this way; for the innovation that technology brings foresight alone is not enough, particularly in the age we are in it. Technology does not fit into a particular mold, so it is hard to make accurate predictions. Because it is very elastic and flexible, it can make things dangerous or it can make things easier as well. We all know that. The products that are emerging under the name of improvement come to our table and consumed by all of us with the genetic changes in feedstuffs and the modification studies. Nobody knows what this consumption will bring with it in the future. Even if you guess right, still there may be surprises since there are many negative aspects that you cannot even think about. In this context, I think that all the predictions and preparations should be shaped by the visible part, not the invisible part of the issue. It can be intervened while there is still a chance to intervene. The most important and most known of these is this, people should be nourished with healthy and true materials. This is a must for healthier generations. The development of a country is closely related to the health status of its current and future generations, I think. Everything that we make the animal eat comes down to our stomach at our tables. It is the determinant of our future. As I said most simply, genetically modified raw materials and products obtained from them are, do not lead to a negative effect on humans according to some people, however, some say it is too early to say something clear yet. Modification is good as long as it positively reflects to our life. So I think regardless of what our job is, we, as the society, have to be more vigilant and sweat over a more independent country. Only then can one be permanent.
, GMO is a very broad topic with various variables. And finally, do you have any additional comments?
First of all, I would like to thank you all, for this opportunity and for your pleasant conversation and questions. I wish your magazine a continued success. I would also like to thank all of you those who contributed.
We also suggest you to read our previous article titled "‘The businesses that invest in automation are getting ahead of their rivals’".