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EBRD and EU support pastry maker in Moldova

By Nina Tsintsadze

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Investment in modern technology puts icing on Panilino’s cake

The Moldovan pastry company Panilino delivers on its promise to bring back childhood memories.

Cakes, rolls, biscuits and traditional sweet bread – cozonacs – allow you to travel back in time to cosy family gatherings, conjuring up feelings of nostalgia and happy memories. Panilino has long won the hearts and taste buds of the Moldovan customers.

Now the company is expanding its markets with support from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU). Its plan is to delight more people with its products and build a lasting legacy abroad too.

Scaling up

Panilino, a family business, began its journey in the 1990s and is now one of the largest manufacturers of bakery and confectionery products in Moldova. Quality has always been key. Every month the company produces more than 50 tonnes of confectionery, combining traditional recipes with high quality ingredients.

‘’It is the greatest privilege and responsibility to run a business that is beloved by so many. We try to stay ahead with new, forward-thinking plans, focus on quality and modern technology to make our production more efficient and our products famous beyond Moldova,’’ says Sergiu Guzun, the director of Panilino.

The EBRD and EU have become firm partners through helping the company to invest in better technology, and to improve health, safety and environmental practices. Panilino is one of 250 companies in Moldova that benefited from the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line.

The EBRD offers companies loans to modernise their production to bring them into line with EU standards. These loans, disbursed via local partner financial institutions- in Panilino’s case, it was Mobiasbanca and are coupled with grants and technical assistance funded by the EU under its EU4Business initiative.

Access to finance and new technology allows companies not just in Moldova, but also Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, to aim for higher quality products and services, scale up and become greener, resilient and more competitive on local and international markets.

“After extensive research of the various SME credit offers available in Moldova, we decided in favour of the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line. The conditions of the credit line are very competitive, and the free-of-charge technical support and the grant component of the loan are truly helpful,” says Sergiu.

During the overhaul of its production facility, Panilino purchased and installed a new confectionery production line, raw material handling and packaging equipment, transportation vehicles, refrigerator trucks and much more.

The new equipment reduces heat, electricity and water consumption, ensures the delivery of high quality products and creates a safe and healthy environment for employees.

Investing for the future

The results of the investment were immediate and best evidenced by numbers: productivity increased by 15 per cent, accompanied by boosted exports and new contracts signed with distributors from Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Latvia. The investment also led the company to hire more people: its workforce grew from 238 to 257 employees.

‘’We increased our product range, improved product quality and significantly optimised our costs.  And we do not plan to stop there. Eventually we want to have an even more solid footing in international markets and make Panilino a globally recognised brand,” says Mr. Sergiu Guzun.

With such determination, hard work and support from its partners, these goals will be more than achievable for Panilino, setting the company up for many years of success.

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