New orders keep inmates working

  • 2010-03-04
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Textile producer SRC Brasa has received new orders from the Swedish market, where the company is seeking to specialize in military-style and outdoor clothing and accessories, reports At present, 5 percent of its export volume goes to Sweden, but in the future this will be increased, says company director Olegs Krauja.

According to Krauja, a meeting of the Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry took place last year at which there was discussion of export opportunities to the Scandinavian countries.  “Success stories were told, and this inspired me. We began cooperation with the export firm Gateway Baltic, which sought out several businesses which we were able to cooperate with. We went there and met with each company, discussed everything and agreed on cooperation. At first, the Swedes did not believe that these products could be made in prison, but in the end we received new orders for the Swedish market,” said Krauja.

The businessman spoke about how, initially, many in Sweden did not want to enter into cooperation with the company due to its state ownership, as it seemed to them that the moment would come when the Latvian company would no longer be able to fulfill it commitments.

“In one conversation I was also told: everything you told us was great, but we associate entrepreneurship with Estonia. Despite our financial figures and explanations that the economic situation was not affecting our business, they were still afraid that the market could have an affect and the moment would come when we would not be able to fulfill our commitments. Problems were also created by the fact that it is not possible to insure Latvian business transactions. One Finnish company was supplying us with raw materials, which we paid for after delivery, and all transactions were insured. However, insurance is now being refused for Latvian deliveries, and we have to pay for everything in advance,” indicated Krauja.

SRC Brasa was founded in 2006. Its textile production operations are carried out at workshops in Ilguciems and Brasa prisons.