Merab Chitanava: After 10-year work at “Ferrero” I decided to become a private consultant

Merab Chitanava, head of procurement of hazelnuts of the world famous chocolate producer “Ferrero” (Ferrero S.P.A) for Georgia and Azerbaijan, will become an independent business consultant. He will share his experience in the agro sphere and business with other companies.

In parallel with the activities at “Ferrero”, Merab was the chairman of the executive committee of the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association within 3 years, and recently he has been re-elected to a second term, both by farmers and by members of the Association. In Georgia and abroad he is often called the “hazelnut expert”.

Hazelnut farmers have an important period- right now they conduct spray treatment of the gardens for the fifth and sixth time.  And it is evident that you also have important news.  You’ve resigned from “Ferrero”, but you continue to work in the Association, do not you?

Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project enters the culmination point and now, when hazelnuts are already bearing fruit and Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs have appeared in the gardens, farmers have to work more and harder.  There is the process of constant working meetings and reports presentation in the Association, as we are entering the final phase. I rate the Project as successful, as about 15,000 farmers are involved in it and this is more than expected number, although we shall not be able to talk about the results until we gather in a good harvest of high-quality hazelnuts.

Recently, I have been re-elected the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Association and I am directly involved in all processes.

Stink Bug has damaged almost all cultures. And what about hazelnuts and what are the prospects for it?

The main goal of the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association is to return Georgia to hazelnut production and to regain its historic place on the world hazelnut market. We have the prospect of doubling the export performance of hazelnuts.  In truth, for 3 years in a row, Stink Bugshave caused significant damage to hazelnuts. I believe that we shall achieve the intended plan quite possibly by the joint work of the Association, our partners and direct farmers.

As is known, you take job neither with the competitive international companies nor with local ones. Do you already know in which business you will continue to operate in parallel with the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association?

My career and business activity has been associated with the agrosphere for 10 years.  Indeed, in recent years I have focused on hazelnut owing to the dangers associated with Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, although the scope of my business activities in general was the production / industry of hazelnuts, the agro industry and the challenges associated with agriculture, I’ve implemented quite interesting projects in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Therefore, at this stage I continue to help companies involved in the agrosphere, although not in a specific position, but as a business consultant.

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