The Worlds Times: Explain your background and your Company’s in detail.
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: I am a director and the main shareholder of the company Agritouch. Established in 2018, AGRITOUCH works in 3 main directions including trade with fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, agricultural consulting, and Investment. AGRITOUCH owns 600 sqm. cold storage facility in Guria region, Georgia, equipped with pre-cooling and IQF freezing modern technology. The company is exporting fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables in different countries including UAE, QATAR, EU, Asian countries and CIS.
Recognizing that export opportunities give local producers a way to increase sales and generate higher revenues, AGRITOUCH offers export market development and trade intermediary services to its clients as well. The company also focuses on growing premium quality berries and represents one of the pioneer companies that started the development of the berry farms in Georgia. Besides Agritouch stands out as a grower of other fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits and supplies with agricultural resources such as seedlings, agricultural textile and etc. to local farmers including the beneficiaries of project “Plant the Future”.
Agritouch is in exclusive partnership with the world’s leading seedling manufacturers including Fall Creek – USA, Plant 365 – UK and Polska Borowka – Poland. Agritouch is in exclusive partnership with following companies as well:
- Naksan- Turkey/Agricultural textile supplier – https://www.naksan.com/
- Sansan – Spain/Pots supplier – https://www.sansan.es/
- Greentera Latvia/Peat Supplier – https://www.greenterra.lv/
Agritouch is in partnership with JSC Georgian Bank under new bank-initiated Blueberry Garden Cultivation Project. Within the project framework Agritouch assisted JSC Georgian Bank and its beneficiaries in loan monitoring process, preparation of different blueberry garden projects including budgeting and aftercare. Agritouch provide agricultural consultancy to bank beneficiaries as well. Within the project framework Agritouch was directly included in cultivation of more than 300 HA blueberry gardens. It should be noted that our company offers garden care management as well to bank beneficiaries.
Beside Agritouch Ekaterina is shareholder of Blueberry Farm (50 ha BB plantation) producing and exporting fresh blueberries in different countries.
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze received USDA fellowship of Cochran for agricultural professionals in the field of fruit value chain development and marketing and MBA degree from Grenoble ecole de management, France. In 2022 Ekaterina became the president if Georgian Blueberry Association that unites the largest Georgia blueberry producer and exporter companies.
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze is also a shareholder of Qatar based company “Winner Trading for Food stuff W.L.L” that represents an exclusive importer of Georgian still and carbonated water “NABEGLAVI” in QATAR.
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: My goal is to contribute to the development of the Georgian agriculture sector and elevate our country to new heights in agricultural excellence. I am determined to work towards enhancing the productivity of Georgian farmers and expanding the diversity of our export markets. By focusing on professionalism and adopting modern agricultural practices, I aim to bring significant improvements to the sector.
To achieve this, I actively engage with key stakeholders, including farmers, agricultural organizations, and government agencies. By fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing, I believe we can develop innovative solutions to the challenges faced by our farmers. I strive to provide them with access to the latest technologies, advanced farming techniques, and relevant training programs, empowering them to optimize their productivity and quality.
Additionally, I am committed to exploring new opportunities for market expansion. By identifying untapped export markets and understanding their requirements, we can diversify our customer base and increase the demand for Georgian agricultural products. I work closely with international trade organizations, establish partnerships with global buyers, and promote our high-quality produce on a global scale.
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of AGRITOUCH right now?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: Throughout our extensive operational history, Agritouch LLC has amassed a wealth of expertise in every facet of agriculture product production and trade. Our company has emerged as a renowned leader, renowned for its unrivaled proficiency in the establishment and management of fruit and vegetable gardens, along with an outstanding reputation for agriculture goods trading.The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today? We take great pride in our commitment to professionalism. Our team is comprised of highly skilled and knowledgeable experts who continually stay abreast of the latest advancements in agricultural science and technology. By adhering to best practices, adopting sustainable farming methods, and prioritizing quality control, we ensure that our products meet the highest standards of excellence.
The Worlds Times: Why did you start AGRITOUCH?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: Driven by a lifelong passion for agriculture, I embarked on a journey to establish Agritouch, a consulting company with a clear vision: to spearhead the development of Georgian agriculture and facilitate the diversification of our export markets. With an unwavering commitment to professionalism, Agritouch strives to bring a new level of expertise and innovation to the agricultural sector.
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: One of the most formidable challenges I encountered was gaining access to the agricultural field due to my lack of prior experience. Additionally, establishing connections with influential individuals who initially showed little interest in my offerings proved to be a significant hurdle. Another formidable obstacle was attracting international buyers in a highly competitive market. However, through perseverance, dedication, and a track record of successfully managing various agricultural projects, I gradually earned the trust and respect of industry professionals, ultimately proving my worth as a valuable partner.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: Dedication
The Worlds Times: What do you value the most about AGRITOUCH vision?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: At the heart of our company’s success lies our most valuable asset: our highly professional and dedicated team. Comprised of exceptional individuals who embody our shared vision, our team serves as the cornerstone of our organization, driving us towards excellence and innovation. The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of AGRITOUCH and how do you stand unique from your competitors?
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: Our core values center around embracing the journey and not solely focusing on the end result. We prioritize the process and strive to deliver the highest possible quality in everything we undertake. Although we have faced challenges and setbacks in the past, we have learned that failure is an integral part of success. Rather than viewing failure as a negative outcome, we now see it as an opportunity for growth and experience. This mindset enables us to approach our work with a more professional and resilient attitude, continuously learning and improving along the way.
The Worlds Times: How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: In the next two years, I envision Agritouch expanding its global presence and solidifying its position as a leader in the agriculture sector, both in Georgia and on a global scale. Our strategic expansion plans involve establishing offices in key target markets where we have already initiated the expansion process, further cementing our international footprint.
The Worlds Times: What benefits are your clients getting from AGRITOUCH in this competitive world?
Ekaterina Vepkhvadze: Our international clients have the distinct advantage of accessing Agritouch’s highly professional consulting services and a wide range of agricultural goods sourced from Georgia and other countries. As a company deeply committed to excellence, we offer comprehensive and tailored consulting services to meet the unique needs of our clients worldwide.
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