As Russia intensifies its military attack on Ukraine, Ukrainian pet food producer Kormotech continues to produce pet food for cats and dogs, and is in the process of opening a charity in Lithuania to accept donations for its pet-focused charitable activities, according to senior company representatives.
“This is a full-scale war, and since the beginning of the Russian invasion, I and most of our team have been based in Lviv, in western Ukraine, close to the border with Poland,” said Kateryna Kovalyuk-Burko, head of PR and communications at Kormotech. “We have our headquarters, factory and warehouses here, and it’s relatively safe. Still, air raid sirens go off once in a while, forcing us to seek shelter.”
Pet food production continues amid war
“Despite this, our team is high-spirited, and we continue to produce dry and wet pet food for Ukrainian pets,” Kovalyuk-Burko added.
She explained that the plant in Lviv has not been running at full capacity, but the company has raw materials in stock and also significant amounts of finished products in its storage facilities.
“Our major concern now is with logistics, as the Russian military has severely damaged infrastructure in many parts of Ukraine. We have distributors across the country, but in some parts, they can’t transport our pet food because numerous roads were destroyed or blocked,” she said.
Prior to the war’s outbreak, Kormotech was exporting a large share of its products to many European countries and also to other continents. In 2021, it sold about 66,000 tons of pet food, up 22.8% compared with a year earlier, according to the company. Export sales to about 38 countries accounted for 20% of Kormotech’s annual sales, an increase from 16% in 2020, as indicated by data from the company.
Charity for Ukrainian pets
To help local pets, Kormotech has launched an initiative, Save Pets of Ukraine, designed to deliver pet food to those in need.
“Many homes and shelters were damaged in explosions caused by Russian soldiers,” Kovalyuk-Burko said. “We decided to set up a center, operated by 25 persons, and tasked with physical deliveries of pet food to shelters, border guard outposts and other places with pets in need. As we speak, nine tons of pet food are on their way to shelters across Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, with the aim to secure additional funds for the Save Pets of Ukraine initiative, Kormotech is in the process of opening a charity in Lithuania, where it operates a plant in addition to the company’s three Ukrainian factories, hoping to attract donations from abroad.
“Many of our foreign partners have expressed readiness to help us save Ukrainian pets from the horrors of this war, and we hope to have this Lithuanian entity up and running in a few days,” Kovalyuk-Burko said. “We are very thankful for the numerous expressions of support from abroad in this time when Ukrainians and their pets are suffering from military aggression, and our goal is to help as much as we can.”
Editor’s note: Kormotech has launched the charity since this was first published; the link is available above.
Adamowski is a freelance journalist based in Warsaw, Poland. He has written on various industries, including pet food, drinks, telecoms, energy, defense and pensions, for numerous English-language publications.