The history of Viktor and K as a commercial company associated with the Korolivsky Smak (Ukrainian for 'Royal Relish') and a couple of other brand names started back in 1992 in Kirovohradska Region of Central Ukraine. Founded by Mr. Viktor M. Korol, a very talented and active person who is the actual proprietor and CEO, the company initially focused on retail merchandising.
In the early years of the company’s business record, as it started growing and developed its own trading network, came the familiarity with the key food products that were natively abundant in Ukraine and held a big potential. It was decided to shift towards being a producer rather than a mere trader of such foods. The idea of building a small sunflower crushing facility with a ramp-up potential was brought to life thanks to the hard work and commitment on part of Mr. Korol’s family and a narrow circle of his associates who later became close friends.
The company’s first production line launched in October, 2001, and just one year later Korolivsky Smak bottled sunflower oil was awarded a Kirovohradshchyna’s Best Products award and a high quality rating from the TEST Independent Consumer Review Center.
In 2002, the company’s first mayonnaise line commenced operation, with another two processing lines for tomato products and mustard launched seven years later, in 2009. By that time, the company’s product range already included refined and unrefined ‘aromatic’ sunflower oil, along with several kinds of mayonnaise and tomato sauces, ketchup, mustard, tomato paste, and even vinegar. Starting out as a regional producer, the company had grown to a powerful national food supplier.
By that time, each of the production or silo facilities operated by the company was provided with an on-site certified lab equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation. By 2010, the company’s facilities were expanded to include spacious warehouses and new office buildings, and it was at that time that our products began to be exported. As the company followed its path of rapid and confident development, it attracted an ever growing number of professional and talented employees.
The year 2014 saw the launch of another crushing facility (Gidrosand, LLC) of a much greater capacity, thus raising the combined total processing rate of both facilities up to 1,550 MT in terms of raw sunflower seeds per day. Over the following three years, export sales grew sevenfold. Striving to stand up to the requirements of internationally recognized food industry standards, the company has successfully implemented a quality management system certified for compliance with the FSSC 22000 and HACCP (ISO 22000) standard systems.
Additionally, as the producer of feed materials, the company passed a GMP+ certification audit and became a certified feed supplier. Besides, as the company’s products were recognized compliant with both the Muslim and the Jewish religious traditions based on a thorough review of our food processing sites by the Halal and Kashrut certification bodies, respectively, doors to new markets opened, mainly in the Middle East.
Own vehicle fleet and freight hub, boiler installations fueled by own-produced sunflower husk pellets, vast heated warehouse facilities all contribute to the company’s operation stability, whereas sunflower silos spread over three Ukrainian regions with a total capacity of 290 thousand tons as well as the advantageous geographical location right at the center of the natural Ukrainian sunflower cropping areas secure reliable feedstock supply throughout the year.
Thanks to its continuous development, high quality standards, and focus on building long-term business partnerships were always among the highest priorities for the company and its top management, Viktor and K was able to establish itself as a reliable producer and supplier of edible vegetable oils, sauces, relishes, and tomato products.
In 2017, we have have successfully commissioned our new full-cycle soybean crushing facility and thus expanded our commercial product portfolio with high-quality Ukrainian soybean oil and high-protein soybean meal.
Today, the company keeps following its growth and development path. In 2018, we are ramping up our warehousing capacity by adding new storage facilities, fitting our oil production lines with nitrogen-padding equipment as well as implementing a series of enhancements in our oil cooling process—all of which is aimed at improving quality of our bottled sunflower oil and making sure it stays well preserved during its long way to our customers worldwide.