Latvian bakery company taps into gluten-free production

Specially manufactured gluten-free products available in Latvia are mostly produced abroad. Latvian baked goods company Ludzas maiznīca is starting to explore the niche and manufacturing gluten-free baked goods locally, Latvian Radio reported February 18.

Ludzas maiznīca, which employs 110 people, has been on the market for bread and pastry products for 30 years. Member of the company's board Jevgeņijs Lukašenoks said that for its new gluten-free production, almost all raw materials are sourced in Latgale, except for rice.

Solvita Koroņevska, a member of the association for celiac patients “Life without gluten”, also confirmed the fact that people who need gluten-free food in Latvia normally have to buy food produced abroad.

"It must be acknowledged that foreign products are dominant in shops and internet shops. There are a few companies in Latvia that produce gluten-free products in stores," said Koroņevska.

Kārlis Zemešs, head of the Latvian Bakers Association, said that the pandemic and the recent rise in energy prices have caused a lot of problems for bakers, so the production of gluten-free products launched by the Ludza bakery could be one of the survival opportunities and perhaps also development opportunities.

"At the moment, I think bakers are looking for a chance to survive these times and provide work for their company, take care of their employees. [..] I think they have done market research and this is not such a reckless step," said Zemešs.

 

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