RIGA - JUF, a company based in the central Latvian city of Jelgava, has started manufacturing medical face masks at its Chinese business partners' proposal, the company's CEO Gunars Davidcuks told LETA.
Until now, the company had been producing water filters and was planning to start making frame-houses. When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, delivering materials for the production of frame-houses from China was no longer possible, so the Chinese partners proposed that JUF start making medical masks.
The company has obtained the necessary equipment and has started making the masks. At present, the company's capacity is five million masks per month, but JUF plans to increase its production capacity. Work is also underway on prototypes ensuring higher protection levels.
JUF is still awaiting certification results from Italy before the masks can be delivered to clients. Davidcuks said that certification in always a period of uncertainty but he believes that the materials supplied to the company meet all quality standards. The certification results are expected at the beginning of June.
JUF has not yet concluded any contracts on the delivery of face masks to Latvia's state institutions but such contracts will be become possible after the masks are certified. The company already has a contract with an Italian partner who is ready to purchase many more masks than the company is making. "Our priority is Latvia, but Italy is also waiting for the certificate," the JUF representative said.
According to information available at Firmas.lv, JUF closed 2018 with EUR 108,121 in turnover and a loss of EUR 32,224. The company's 2019 performance results are not yet available. JUF belongs to Baiba Podane.
Earlier, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) said that no potential face mask manufacturer has received state support for certification as yet, but two companies are in the process of concluding an agreement.
Companies that responded to the state's call to engage in the production of medical masks continue to work on the certification of their products and LIAA does not have the authority to publish a list of these companies. One of these companies is JUF from Jelgava, which has already been mentioned in media publications, the LIAA added.