The Famagusta-based Savvas Hadjigiorkis and Sons Ltd (Hadjigiorkis Flourmills) has collaborated with the EBRD to improve its talent pool and to work with international professionals in their field.
Savvas Hadjigiorkis and Sons Ltd was founded in 1945 and operates in Frenaros village in Famagusta, with 85 employees under the management of Savvas Koshis and George Koshis, the grandsons of the company’s founder.
In 2018, the flourmill unit started collaborating with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with a local project co-funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund. The project was launched by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry and implemented by the EBRD.
“The project is divided into two parts, local and international”, CFO Kyriacos Panayi explained to the Cyprus Mail.
At the local level, the EBRD assisted the company to find local advisor services to develop their Human Resource Department.
“We have received support from Panayiotis Thrasivoulou who is associate partner in EY, one of the big four audit firms.” Panayi said.
“In parallel, we have started an 18-month international project with EBRD again with the European Union funds that enabled us to meet and collaborate with professionals in the milling industry from around the world.”
The project will be completed by the end of 2020, after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
Covid-19 had an immediate effect on the company, as they had to respond to a rapid increase on flour demand, due to the fact that people ran to procure basic necessities.
However, sales saw a correspondent rapid fall with the implementation of restrictive measures in island.
“As time passed, the reduction of sales was evident in our sector, which was inevitable due to the decrease in the operations of bakeries, confectioneries and tourism Enterprises”, the CFO explained. “We estimate that the reduction in our sector will range between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, assuming that the gradual lifting of the restrictive measures will be completed without setbacks.”
Hadjigiorkis Flourmills since 2011 exports to the UK, but these were similarly affected by the pandemic. The exports had to pause temporarily on March 26, due to lockdown measures implemented in England but resumed as from May 12. “As soon as the lockdown measures were lifted, we were able to resume our exports to the UK despite logistics challenges, due to the pandemic,” Panayi said.
Despite the financial impact on their company, Hadjigiorkis Flourmills continued to give back to society throughout the pandemic by donating to the Famagusta General Hospital, which is the referral hospital for coronavirus in Cyprus.
“During Covid-19, we have continued to provide our support to society through the collaborations with several organisations who support people in need. As a small gesture to the people in the front line of Covid-19”, Panayi said.