Interview: Rella Gıda General Manager and Chairman Teoman Durukan

Interview: Rella Gıda General Manager and Chairman Teoman Durukan


“We are in love with export”

Ranked 7 in top 10 Milk and Dairy Products importers of last year with Mozzarella cheese used in pizzas, Rella Gıda commenced export operations to African countries as well. Teoman Durukan says “We see ourselves as part of “Ranks of Export Lovers”.

Teoman Durukan leaves the family business Durukan Gıda in 2006 and Rella Gıda is established in 2007 by joining the milk processing plant Ankara Ofis Yem Group of Companies located in Kartepe, Kocaeli. The plant processes 5.000 tons of milk monthly, and produces only Mozzarella and derivatives. Mozzarella is preferred by pizzerias for its low fat and high humidity content.

Rella Gıda General Manager and Chairman Teoman Durukan states that they are entirely focused on Mozzarella production, and adds:

“We’ve tried to emphasize our vision by making Rella, the last part of Mozzarella, as our company name and trademark. Our product range consists of Grated MozzaRELLA, Block MozzaRELLA, MozzaRELLA Balls in Water, and Breaded StickMozzaRELLA. Grated mozzarella is the essential and irreplaceable cheese of pizzas. Block Mozzarella and Mozzarella in Water are intensely consumed at breakfast in Europe and US.

It is recently appreciated in our country. Mozzarella requires extremely fresh milk and rigorous production, and it is produced by a few companies in Turkey.”

Rella Gıda penetrated the pastry sector with RellaCake brand and 81 varieties… Let’s ask Mr. Durukan about their claim to end the Mozzarella import…

“One of the most important aspects that the companies in the pizza industry, many of which are global pizza chains, pay attention to is to satisfy their customers by producing tasty products using quality materials. US companies have created a specs. chart about the Mozzarella used in pizzas. As Rella, we product based on such specs. Our cheese is no different than the ones used in London, New York or Paris. We are the approve supplier of 6-7 pizza chains which consume 85% of Mozzarella in our country. I believe that currently there is no Mozzarella import in our country, and even if there is, it is in very limited quantity.

We’ve recently launched our Breaded Mozzarella variety, and it drew much more attention we’ve expected. We will remove this product from imported goods as well. We will launch our automated production line with the investment we will make soon.”

Will we see Rella Gıda product on shelves?

“Actually Rella Gıda was always in some sort of touch with the consumer with the products produced up until today. Approximately 70.000.000 pizzas are produced annually using our Mozzarella cheese, and 12.000.000 portion cakes are offered to the consumers as part of our RellaCake brand. We’ve concluded a deal with the largest grocery chain of Turkey (in terms of data). Our Mozzarella and cake varieties are hitting the shelves as we speak.”

How’s the export?

“As Rella Gıda, we are ranked 7th in top 10 Milk and Dairy Products exporters with a single cheese variety in 2011. We are available in the traditional market of our industry, all of the Gulf countries. We’ve commenced trade operations with two African countries as well.”

What can you say about food safety approach of Rella Gıda?

“Food safety is a consumer right. We strive to protect such right and deliver it where it’s due. We conduct our operations keeping in mind that food safety guidelines must be strictly applied to the chain defined as “from field to fork”. Our country has gained excellent dairy farms in the last 3 years thanks to the loans and incentives. But the bottom line is dairy farmers must be trained. Believe me, the cost of incorrect milking, cooling and delivery to production sites is way beyond any estimate.

Cows are mothers, continuation of the species. Any problem with the milk, slaughtering of the cows cause trouble in the relevant industries.”

Spot: “The bottom line is to save the milk of Golden Girl milked by Aunt Ayşe, Sister Fatma in the morning adhan from going bad and bring back the compensation for their hard-work to the country as foreign currency.”