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Thursday, September 6, 2012 | Meeting Sandora

Rarely do I come across an interview partner who, without any prompting, provides me with print-ready copy describing his company. Volodymyr Yehorenko, Manufacturing Director, is one of that rare breed. Within the space of a couple of questions we know all we need to know about the juice market in the Ukraine. He is keen to present his products and his business as transparently as possible to the public at large.

His reasoning is simple: only when people understand that Sandora uses nothing but natural ingredients, with no chemicals in the product, will consumers consider packaged drinks healthy. This is vital in a country where melons, peaches and apples are grown everywhere, and at harvest time everyone eats a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables.

After that refreshing interview, we head north for our next appointment which is 100km north of Kiev in the region of Chernihiv, a journey of around 600 km. The north-south connection is surprisingly good, so that we can confidently bed down for the night in Kiev district. We manage to find a guarded HGV parking area which is a bit muddy after all the rain, but does boast a 24-hour cafeteria where we can rest our weary limbs. Over a not inconsiderable number of beers stretching over the best part of the evening, Waldemar Schmitke and I manage to sketch out on the back of an envelope all the technical challenges of preform and bottle production.