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“We do what we can do best.” How Ardis Group continues to supply Ukrainians with cheese during the war

“We do what we can do best.” How Ardis Group continues to supply Ukrainians with cheese during the war

“We are helping Ukraine's economy by doing what we can do best — producing and supplying cheese”, Dmytro Chernov, CEO of Ardis Group.

Ardis Group is a Ukrainian structured group of companies with 23 years of experience in importing and selling cheese under its own monobrand «Lel’». Besides, Ardis Group is the first company to have introduced Italian-type fresh cheese, mozzarella, and ricotta, to the Ukrainian market. The company also has its own plant «Dairy Workshop» where they produce their own cheese products (mozzarella, pizza cheese, cheddarella cheese).

“Our mission is to bring the world cheese consumption culture to Ukrainians and experience Ukraine through locally produced cheese.”

We started as a company importing cheeses from top European manufacturers. Our assortment includes a variety of brands that, for many years, have been the best in their categories in the international market. Ardis Group imports cheeses from Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Switzerland.

Since 2014, we also own a plant called «Dairy Workshop» specializing in the production of fresh cheeses. The products of «Lel’» include mozzarella for pizza, mozzarella in brine, ricotta, as well as Cheddarella cheese — our own product developed by the company. We produce our own products made of Ukrainian raw materials. The company has a reliable team that truly loves what they do, and this is the most important thing in our business.

“We do what we can do best.” How Ardis Group continues to supply Ukrainians with cheese during the war

The company is building an ecosystem of cheese making in Ukraine. The projects and services of Ardis Group include:

  • ProCheese — a project that brought together people and businesses that are interested in cheese and support the idea of building a cheese consumption culture in Ukraine.
  • ProCheese Awards — a cheese art festival and a national cheese and cheese plateaus competition.
  • ProCheese Academy — the first academy in Ukraine that trains cheese professionals: cheesemongers and sommeliers of cheese.
  • Cheese customizing — a service offered to shops to help them design unique aesthetic cheese showcases and spaces and set up processes for working with cheese to increase the profitability of this category. We also offer the necessary equipment for those working with cheese.
  • Organizing cheese events — master classes, cheese tastings, cheese catering.

How the war affected our business

As a result of the Russian shelling, the company's warehouse storing imported products in Kyiv region was severely damaged. Despite the Russian occupants’ ruthless actions, Ardis Group is resuming its imports to keep bringing Ukrainians the best cheeses and keep them connected with the world. «Dairy Workshop» has not ceased working and continues supplying Ukrainians with high-quality own production fresh cheese.

“As a Ukrainian company, Ardis Group has the crucial task of supporting the country's economy; despite the dangerous working conditions, we keep processing milk, providing jobs, and delivering products to stores,” Dmytro Chernov, CEO of Ardis Group.

We keep working to meet the needs of our customers and to deliver high-quality and fresh cheese (own production as well as imported) to them. Therefore, we continue to supply products to the largest chains of supermarkets, cafes, pizzerias, restaurants, and hotels.

Our exports

We realize there is currently significant interest in Ukrainian products. Besides, there are initiatives to lift customs duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports, which will alleviate the financial burden and support Ukraine's economy during the war. Therefore, Ardis Group has boosted its exports, which play strategically important role to us.

At the request of international customers, we are actively working to develop a unique, simple, and delicious recipe for cheese products, taking into account the type of oven, cooking time, and the type of cheese. We have already launched the respective process and are undergoing production certification to be able to offer our products to the Middle East markets, as well as the EU, the countries of Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Social responsibility of our business during the war

From the very first day of the war, we have been helping Ukraine and supporting the Ukrainian Army. Our cheeses heartened the Armed Forces of Ukraine — we shipped the products to Ulyanivsk Hospital and helped the territorial defense of Pervomaiska and Yuzhnoukrainska communities.

At the request of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, we suppled two trucks with our produce to the Kyiv State Administration as humanitarian aid. All products served to meet the needs of the Armed Forces and social facilities in the city of Kyiv.

We received and delivered three trucks with humanitarian aid from our suppliers: Fléchard, Busti, Alpenhain, Berglandmilch, and Bergader, and as many as 18 tons of Swiss cheese from Mifroma. This aid was donated through the public initiative Help Ukraine Center and sent to the hot spots in Ukraine.

Besides, we managed to deliver 16 tons of cargo from our European partners that included essential goods important to Ukraine, such as medicines, first aid kits, hygiene items, and baby food. The humanitarian aid was transferred to a military clinic, and thermal underwear was delivered to Ukrainian defenders on the front line.

Ardis Group also supported charitable foundations. Cheeses of our own production and imported cheeses from Philadelphia, Zanetti, Bettine, and desserts from Zott have been donated to the following funds: «FOODBANK», «With warmth in the heart», volunteer organization «Zgraya», as well as to mothers and their children who arrived at the refugee center in Vinnytsia region, and families in Kyiv raising children with disabilities.

Unity is our power! We keep working to support Ukraine's economy.

This article has been prepared for the special project «Trade with Ukraine: tell the world Ukraine works». The project aims to promote domestic export-oriented enterprises, operating during the war, in Ukraine and abroad.

USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine supports EEPO in their efforts and initiatives to promote Ukraine’s businesses in Ukraine and abroad. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

Author of the material: Dmytro Chernov, CEO of Ardis Group


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