Smart Logistics LLC is the first and so far the only Georgian company supplying vegetables to Georgian facilities of the McDonald's fast food chain.
Today we are talking about the Iceberg salad, for which Smart Logistics received the GlobalG.AP certificate in November last year. At the same time, according to the management of Smart Logistics, it is possible that in the near future, the products supplied by the company to McDonald's will be supplemented with and other vegetables.
Smart Logistics, established in 2016, owns 6 hectares of agricultural land in the Mtskheta region (Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, Eastern Georgia), where the company grows lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion.
“McDonald's standards are very high, one of the requirements of this network for suppliers of primary products is the presence of GlobalG.AP. We turned to USAID for support, which provided us with both financial and technical assistance. We decided to start with the Iceberg salad, and after receiving the aforementioned certificate for it, in the same year, we began supplying it to McDonald's. We plant "Iceberg" twice a year, and not immediately, but in small batches, so the harvest takes several months. We are now continuing to harvest the lettuce that was planted in the spring, and at the same time planting seedlings for a second harvest (which usually lasts until the first days of December). I want to note that we meet all the requirements of both GlobalG.AP and the McDonald's chain itself, and there are, in total, about 250 of them (this also applies to the availability of properly equipped wet points on the farm, and a separate warehouse for plant protection products, and fire safety and etc.). Once every 3 months we make analyzes of drinking water in our area, irrigation water, as well as soil analysis - for the absence of harmful substances. In the first half of 2020, we expected to receive GlobalG.AP for our other vegetables grown in the Mtskheta region - we have all the necessary infrastructure, the documentation has been collected - but the coronavirus pandemic prevented the planned arrival of members of the international audit. Still, we expect to complete this process by the end of the year. Currently, negotiations are underway on this topic. Either the specialists will arrive in person, or - taking into account the current realities, as well as the fact that since the issuance of GlobalG.AP to Iceberg, we have not received a single criticism, the process will be completed remotely. After that, we plan to offer McDonald's our tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, ”Levan Trapaidze, founder of Smart Logistics, told EastFruit.
The founder of Smart Logistics also noted that the GlobalG.AP certificate gives the company the opportunity to develop European markets.
According to Levan Trapaidze, this year the company has leased agricultural land with an area of 10 hectares in the Marneuli region (Kvemo Kartli region, Eastern Georgia). “This is part of our expansion plans. Now we grow tomatoes there. Further plans will depend on the situation in the world market and directly in Georgia, ”he said.
According to the USAID office in Georgia, in October 2019, the USAID Agricultural Program and McDonald's signed a memorandum of cooperation. The document provides for USAID assistance to the partnership between McDonald's and the beneficiaries of this program. Currently, work is underway to establish cooperation between McDonald's and two more Georgian companies, the office said.