RECP team working with cheese producers in Vayots Dzor and Syunik Regions, Armenia RECP audits

EU4Environment RECP project team, National project coordinator Ms. Nune Harutyunyan, RECP National expert Mr. Armen Bodoyan, RECP Technical experts Ms. Dshkhuhi Sahakyan and Mr. Tigran Sekoyan, as well as communication expert Tigran Oganezov, visited “Erpin” Agricultural Cooperative in August 03, 2021, located in Vayots Dzor region, Armenia, which is the main agricultural and touristic province of the country. “Erpin” Agricultural Cooperative is situated in Yelpin community of Vayots Dzor region, the SMEs is currently going through RECP assessment cycle within the EU4Environment RECP programme.

The cooperative was founded in 2016 and produces 11 types of cheese including Gouda, Parmesan, “Buried” cheese, and several types of local cheeses – “Lori”, “Yelpin”, “Teghegnadzor”, cheeses with walnuts and cognac. All goods produced by company are sold in Armenian and Russian markets. Starting from 2020 the company started exporting its cheese to the USA. During the working visit, the project team has met with director of the organization Mr. Artur Nazaryan, who presented the organizations’ production, volumes, and current needs in terms energy efficiency and waste recycling, wastewater treatment and its further reuse, options for recycling of whey.

On 04 of August, the RECP project team has also visited “Sis Alp” LLC in Sisian community of Syunik region, which is the most southern bordering province of the country. The company is producing 33 types of dairy products, including 6 types of cheeses, 6 types of bottled milk and kefir, 14 types matsun/yogourt, 4 types of cottage cheese, butter and sour cream. This SME is also going through RECP assessment cycle within EU4Environment RECP programme.

The company, headed by Mr. Husik Stepanyan, was established in 2007 and sells its products in Armenian and Russian markets. During the familiarization with the company's production cycle and further discussion, Mr. Stepanyan presented his main concerns related to wastewater, whey and plastic waste, as well as electricity, fuel-diesel and pasteurization process huge expenses. Based on their observations, as possible improvement measures for raised concerns, the project Experts suggested: