“Loulis Mel – Bulgaria” – innovative company of the year!

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LOULIS MEL – BULGARIA S.A. which is the Bulgarian subsidiary of the Greek company LOULIS FOOD INGREDIENTS S.A. has just been distinguished as the BULGARIAN INNOVATIVE COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2023 in the category “Innovation Management”. The award ceremony took place during the 19th edition of the Bulgarian Forum for Innovation and Growth held in Sofia on December 19th, 2023. 

The award was presented to Mr. Kalin Yonov, CEO of LOULIS MEL BULGARIA personally by the   Bulgarian Prime Minister Mr. Nikolay Denkov, and the EU Innovation Commissioner Mrs. Iliana Ivanova.

Loulis Food Ingredients with its three century of company history is the leading wheat flour producer in the Balkan region. The state-of-the-art production facility of the Bulgarian subsidiary started in 2020 full-scale production and closed the year 2022 with a turnover of 20€ million while processing more than 30.000 tons of wheat grain. The production process in Bulgaria is fully automated, and the company contributes to the creation of high-added value for its partners in the technological chain (suppliers and industrial customers), by jointly developing and implementing process and product innovations, which have entered the market. The Bulgarian company won the award with development of innovative and successful flours for the industrial production of Balkan traditional filo pastries /BG-Banitsa, RO-Placinta, TR-Burek, GR-Tyropita/.

“This is another great example of how good collaboration between our Group’s companies can lead to tremendous results!” said Nikos Loulis, Chairman of Loulis Food Ingredients. “I congratulate the whole team who has played an essential role in the creation of these excellent flours and also in the strong development of sales in the Bulgarian market! I stay confident that with the great team that we have created in Loulis Mel Bulgaria and the amazing support from our Loulis Food Ingredients team members, Kalin will be able to guide the Bulgarian company further forward.”

Kalin Yonov who undertook the management of the Bulgarians subsidiary 3 years ago is a graduate of the Athens University of Economics and Business and has held top leadership positions for more than 10 years at the Greek-Belgian metallurgical group, Viohalco. He was also CEO of the Belovo Paper Mill SA, a producer of FMCG hygiene products. Since 2021 he is also a Lecturer of Management in the AMBA-accredited international MBA program of Sofia University.

“The innovation award for Loulis Mel Bulgaria is an amazing achievement and a special tribute to the real production sector”, Yonov said. “The LOULIS FOOD INGREDIENTS companies combine traditional family values with lean corporate structure, forming an organizational culture of trust and individual empowerment which promotes innovation and rewards out-of-the-box thinking. The local team has exceeded every expectation and this reward comes well deserved. Creating not one but several innovations in a traditional sector, like wheat flour production, was a challenging endeavor that impressed the 18-member jury.”

“This award is a significant recognition of a successful local geographical cluster in the agro sector”, commented the president of the Dobrudhza grain producers’ Association – Mrs. Radostina Jekova. “The success of Loulis’ initiatives has been supported by local farmers who were directly selling selected high-quality wheat grains to the milling factory in Northeast Bulgaria. It is noteworthy that our region grows close to 1 million tons of wheat grain every year, while local processors are few. Loulis has made a business case study to be used as an example for any other investor in the region.”

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