Klion Group sports the “Made in Ukraine” label as business continues amid war

Klion Group CEO and Co-Owner Sergiy Kardash posing with the "Made in Ukraine" label on the company's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global
Klion Group CEO and Co-Owner Sergiy Kardash posing with the "Made in Ukraine" label Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky debuted in February | Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource
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For the first time since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Klion Group organized a booth at the Seafood Expo Global exhibition.

Albacor LLC, based in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine, comprises one part of the Klion Group, which has multiple divisions – including eight sales branches in Ukraine, a fish-processing plant in Zaporizhzhya, a chain of seafood shops in Ukraine, a trading company in Georgia, a fishing company in Uruguay, and a trading company in Spain. The Klion Group employs over 2,000 people with sales of approximately USD 250 million (EUR 233 million) each year.

Klion Group exports products to several different countries, including Poland, Spain, the U.S., Germany, Hungary, Georgia, the Baltic region, and Israel. It also sells products under the Veladis brand domestically in Ukraine. 

Klion Group CEO and Co-Owner Sergiy Kardash told SeafoodSource the Veladis brand boasts a wide range of different products, including frozen fish and fillets, frozen seafood, preserved fish and seafood, caviar in different sauces, natural caviars, dried fish and snacks, smoked fish, and canned products.

Kardash told SeafoodSource during the 2024 Seafood Expo Global the company did not set up a booth at the last two exhibitions entirely because of the war.

“The situation in Ukraine, because of the war, is very uncertain. We couldn’t make any predictions,” Kardash said. “Time has passed, and our brains have started to adapt to the situation; we started to look for different solutions and how we could live on.”

Kardash said through discussions among top management, a decision was reached: Stay in Ukraine and build up the company, in part to aid the country's war effort.

"The main goal was to help the economy of Ukraine because this help should be forwarded to help the army," he said.

Klion Group sported a “Made in Ukraine” label on its booth – an initiative unveiled by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in February. Kardash said the company wanted to have its own booth at Seafood Expo Global so it could use the label prominently.

“We are doing so because we truly believe in our victory; we are ready to support our government, we love Ukraine, and, therefore, we are ready to do whatever we need to promote Ukraine's brand all over the world,” Kardash said.

Keeping a company of Klion Group's size afloat in a country at war is not easy, Kardash. He said he doesn't like to talk of the challenges – because "we will speak endlessly."

“Our production plant and main headquarters are only 60 kilometers from the front line, so it’s very close,” Kardash said. “So, if you speak in general, we are accepting all the challenges; we are learning to work with them and how to survive them and keep working.”

Despite those challenges, a number of ... 

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