Detergent Producer Helps Cyprus Stay Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic


By Dima Hamdallah

“We live on an island and needed to depend on our island for safety!” says Marketing Director of Dağlı Trading in the northern part of Cyprus, Defne Dağlı. The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of manufacturing products locally rather than depending on imports for survival, she explained.

When the demand for sanitising products suddenly increased, the company had to triple production of sanitisers and cleaning chemicals to fulfil it, while still maintaining their other line of work of supplying food products to supermarkets.

Dağlı Trading is a family-owned business in the Famagusta district operating in the cleaning product manufacture and fast-moving consumer goods  sectors. The company has been a client of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Cyprus since 2017, when they received business advice enabling them to implement a warehouse management system. With the help of a local IT consultant, this new system provided a speedy, accurate and efficient method of delivering goods to customers. They now have better visibility of their inventory, which reduced warehouse-related errors with orders by 85 per cent.

The EBRD also extended its support when the company took part in an international advisory programme, funded by the European Union, to reshape the organisation, develop sales and distribution strategies, review the brand portfolio and implement a sales forecasting process.

Dağlı has been distributing cleaning products and ambient foods since 1983, initially selling to wholesalers in the northern part of Cyprus and then expanding distribution to service retailers directly.

The company manufactures home and industrial-grade cleaners as well as cosmetics, and their food product brands span dairy, snacks, beverages, chilled meat and frozen seafood and vegetables.

Mrs Dağlı says their team rose up to the pandemic challenge. Although they were not the only producers of sanitisers, they had the advantage of having established their brand over many years. They responded quickly, supplying companies and pharmacies with hand sanitisers, and becoming one of the very few trusted suppliers of these essential products at this critical time.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak and as a precautionary measure since March this year, only supermarkets and pharmacies have been able to operate. Mrs Dağlı explains: “It was important to keep our community safe by manufacturing sanitising and cleaning chemicals. However, we still needed to fulfil our other main area of distribution which is ambient food. But this time we needed safer measures while delivering products to our customers.”

Not without difficulties, given the scarcity of personal protective equipment, the company also secured the necessary supplies of masks and protective wear for their personnel to enable them to deliver their products safely.

With the help of a team of around 110 employees, of which a third are women, Dağlı’s quality range of household cleaners and personal care products now commands around 30 per cent of the market share in volume. The factory is also certified for quality management and good manufacturing practice standards.

To date, the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme has helped 92 micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in Cyprus benefit from business advisory services provided by local and international consultants. The majority – 22 per cent of projects – were implemented with enterprises in the food and beverages sector.

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