Sunday, December 10, 2017

The history of Chumak Company

History of some global companies is more like an exciting adventure than the pallid economical statistics. Books on such companies are in great demand as detective stories. Chumak stands a good chance for being entered into business and history textbooks as an example of bright and innovative decisions leading the Company to accomplishments and success.

The Beginning. When founders of the Chumak Company, young Swedish businessmen Johan Boden and Carl Sturen, came to Ukraine for the first time in 1993, they were 21 and 19 years old only. Both were engaged into the family vegetable production business in Sweden. It happened that a cucumber crop was lost in Estonia that year; so they had to look for replacement for the lost supplies in other states. After coming to Ukraine, they saw that the state offered much than a mere replenishment for the lost crops. They have found the new platform for establishment of their own company.
Swedish businessmen Johan Boden and Carl Sturen - founders of the Chumak Company
Johan and Carl returned in Ukraine in order to find a suitable site for the future production facilities. They traveled throughout the state and visited 32 factories before finally choosing the Kakhovka plant in Kherson region. In 1995, Johan and Carl realized the necessity of building their own production facilities. When looking for investors, they got support and understanding from Professor Hans Rausing — the founder of the Tetra Pak Company, the leading producer of food packaging.

Their first meeting yielded in the fruitful partnership, especially because Professor Rausing had sympathy towards Russia and Ukraine: he used to study the Russian language and launched his first business in the former USSR. Initially, Kahovka had fields with overripe cucumbers and the depreciated tinned food factory only. Young businessmen had to build the company and production facilities “from the scratch” — and they managed to do it. The original name of the Company was South Food, Inc. — it was the joint venture of the Swedish partners and the State Property Fund (SPF) of Ukraine.

The full story of Chumak Company and its Swedish founders is available at: