The Octim Company was founded in 1994. It was founded by employees of a state owned company Vinegar & Mustard Factory in Olsztynek. How has the company developed throughout the years?
In the 1960s the Vinegar and Mustard Factory of Olsztyn Food Company in the Field Industry (Olsztyńskie Zakłady Spożywcze Przemysłu Terenowego) was located in Olsztyn. Because of necessary modernization and extensions, it was decided to build a new headquarters in Olsztynek.
In 1965 the new production facility started to operate in Olsztynek. The project was financed from our own capital and funds from the Field Industry Companies' Association (Zjednoczenie Przedsiębiorstw Przemysłu Terenowego). At that time the company had been awarded many times in national competitions, and in 1972 it was awarded during a national exhibition of food production in Poznań.
Recipes were centrally worked out and according to Polish standards, only slightly modified by individual factories. The original taste distinguished itself among other national products.
Privatisation of companies in Poland, connected with the political changes after 1989, allowed the company to transform. The staff agreed on the company’s privatisation. The founders were employees of the company including the present President Mr. Robert Adamiec.
On 3 August 1993 the employees’ company was founded under the business name Wytwórnia Octu i Musztardy OCTIM Sp. z o.o. w Olsztynku (Vinegar and Mustard Factory OCTIM Ltd. in Olsztynek), which under regulations in force, as of 1 April 1994, leased from the State Treasury the company’s property and it operates to this day.
Octim is above all vinegar. Please tell us how it is produced?
Indeed, the product we specialize in is spirit vinegar manufactured traditionally by way of biological vinegar fermentation, stored in traditional larch vats. Throughout the years we worked out new technologies and at present we obtain vinegar with a very high acidity. The second in line is cider vinegar also manufactured by fermentation but of apple wine from Polish apples! We are pioneers in this area. Obviously, in our offer we have other tastes of vinegar, e.g. balsamic vinegar.
The second flag product is mustard…
As we mentioned, our recipes are 50 years old but that does not mean that we do not develop our mustard category. We combine the future with tradition. We are a major national producer and our mustards are valued both by consumers and connoisseurs, which is confirmed by the “Superior Taste Award 2015 **” won for our Sarepska Mustard. The mustard is manufactured according to a traditional home recipe. I would like to highlight the fact, that Octim is not only vinegar and mustard, we also produce ketchup.
Natural raw materials and a traditional recipe are the production's priority. Is this the case also with other Octim products?
Obviously these are the grounds of our company’s operation. In production we use only proven raw materials from reliable suppliers. I know that it sounds like a slogan, but it is the truth. Regarding the recipes, we use our ‘old, tried and tested' recipes but we do not limit ourselves only to them. We constantly search for and create new recipes and new tastes.
The high quality of your products is confirmed by certificates. What certificates?
As I said, we use only proven and carefully selected raw materials. Because of that our products enjoy the recognition of both consumers and experts who grant certificates. As a company, Octim Vinegar and Mustard Factory Ltd., holds BRC and IFS Food certificates. Apart from the certificates that I have just mentioned, we have been awarded many times in various contests which also confirms the high quality of our products.
On which foreign markets are the Octim products available? Are you planning to conquer other parts of the world? Will your export outside the European markets increase?
I can say that our products have already toured around the world. Ranging from the Unites States to Japan. We are looking for new sales markets all the time, we are aware of the fact that as a company we cannot sell only ‘in our backyard’ but we have to search for a place for our products outside Poland and Europe.
What must be done so that Polish products are well-known worldwide and associated with a good quality?
Supporting Polish brands on foreign markets by, among others, participation in various fairs, promotional events and economic missions. Places where customers have a chance to taste and get to know the offered product. These are the actions that are to identify the Polish economic brand with these products. This is why Poland recalls high quality products available in acceptable price.
But, you can speak of success in brand positioning only when a customer is loyal to the brand, and he/she returns to it every time he/she goes shopping.
Is the participation in international fairs a pass for producers to export success?
Obviously, each national or international fair is a great and – in my opinion – the best way to acquire new customers. Fairs give a chance to present products directly to customers and, more importantly, as a participant of such events we can personally meet people interested in our product and gain their trust. And trust is the most important thing in business.
Thank you. (MD)