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Klas d.d. Sarajevo, with its 117 years long tradition (founded in 1902), is the leading producer in the flour-milling-bakery business, and among the leading producers of pasta, pastries and cookie products in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region.
The main objective of Klas strategy and quality policy is to produce high quality, sanitary and safe food. This objective is met by consistent implementation of ISO, HALAL and HACCP standards.
All individual segments of production process, starting from procurement of ingredients, to storage, to production and delivery of finished products, are closely monitored by best technologists and experienced employees.
Modern and automated production, tradition, invaluable experience, wide variety of products and their top quality, as well as consumer’s trust and satisfaction is the formula for success of the company, both on local market and beyond BiH borders.
Initiative to build the Sarajevo “Paromlin” (Steam Mill). The Sarajevo dignitaries got together around this initiative and worked hard for six years to make it happen, so this important and coordinated effort to build the first steam mill is rightfully considered the year of establishment of Klas d.d.
August 3rd, holding of the constituting general assembly to establish the Sarajevo Steam engine Roll Mill – joint stock company. The stock principle was 750,000 krunas, and the stocks were paid up to the Privileged National Bank for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Paromlin na valjke d.d. (Roller Steam Mill) started working in March, and it possessed a four storey business building, a silo and automatic machines, engine room housing steam engines, boiler house with two large boilers, the commercial unit and carpentry shop, warehouse, industrial rail track, one house for clerks and 10 apartments for workers. Annual production of the Paromlin was more than 1,000 waggons.
1914. – 1918.
First World War. Throughout the First World War, the Paromlin kept producing flour; due to hard economic situation, the sales price and consumption per capita were strictly controlled by the Government trustee for the national capital Sarajevo.
1918. – 1941.
Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Sarajevo Paromlin was one of 30 major mills in the system that jointly purchased wheat abroad. At the time, one section of the Paromlin’s administrative building was used also as the VI Primary School. Most of the equipment was dismantled and taken to Hungary by the then majority owner of the Paromlin – the mill Victoria from Pest, Hungary.
1941. – 1945.
Second World War. Available capacities of the Paromlin worked only occasionally and to a limit. As in the earlier wars, the Independent State of Croatia’s authorities restricted supply of food to citizens, and the City Provisions Office distributed special cards that allowed the citizens to receive daily rations of bread food: 150g of bread, grains, or 110g of flour made from grains.
Socialist Republic of BiH. Within the Sarajevo Paromlin, the company Ishrana-trgovinsko preduzeće (Food Trade Company) was established, and at the level of the city, established was the Gradsko narodno preduzeće (City Peoples’ Company) or GRANAP, which included mill and bakery.
Establishment of the City Milling Company “Mlinar” Sarajevo. All the production capacities were reconstructed and modernized, and a silo was also installed that could receive six waggons of grains. For the needs of bread production, the City Baking Company “Pekar” (Baker) was established, and for producing pasta the City Pasta Factory, and the City Candy Factory Zora, etc.
Decision of the Presidency of the Government of Peoples’ Republic of BiH first merged the companies “Pekar” and “Mlinar” into a single company called City Milling and Baking Company, and then the former pasta factory was merged to it to create a new company “Milling and Pasta Company Sarajevo, 6th April”. The same year the works started on installation of a new electric mill in the building of the former steam mill in Čengić Vila neighbourhood in Sarajevo.
“City Milling and Pasta Company Sarajevo 6th April” was given a new name of “Žitopromet” Sarajevo. TC “Žitopromet” at the time employed 158 workers. A laboratory was established for testing quality of grains and flour, and quality of bread baked in the newly built steam bakery – the Velepekara. The “Žitopromet” Sarajevo comprised at the time the Velepekara – Industry of Bread and Baked Goods, and Factory of Dry Dough “Bosanka” Sarajevo, that produced pasta.
“Žitopromet“ Sarajevo expands its retail network, both in the city of Sarajevo and in Ilijaš, Breza, Visoko. The sales range included flours type 400, type 600 and type 1,000, white and semi-white bread… Average annual amount milled in the “Žitopromet” over the period 1957-1966 exceeded 53,000 tons per year, while the annual milled quantity of all mills in BiH combined in the same period was around 221,000 tons.
Because of the great economic crisis that had hit economy of former SFRY, the then political leadership decided to tie the fragmented commercial entities into systems of complex organizations of associated labour (SOUR). The “Žitopromet” Sarajevo thus became part of the system UPI, in the form of UPI OUR – “Milling Industry”, UPI OUR “Baking Industry”, UPI OUR “Sarko” and UPI OUR “Sarajka”, all parts of the RO “Klas” Sarajevo.
 OUR – Osnovna organizacija udruženog rada – Basic Organization of Associated Labour (t.n.)
 RO – Radna organizacija – Work Organization, (t.n.)
Company “Sarko” Sarajevo was started, as the first sweet confectionary factory in Republic of BiH. The main product that was offered to consumers was the sweet roll “Sarko” named after the factory itself. The equipment had been supplied by the London based company Baker Perkins, and one shift of workers was able to produce 14,400 pieces of the sweet roll. The assortment was quickly broadened to include new types of biscuits, and very alluring “Bosanski lokum”.
The Velepekara starts selling its new bread, known by the name of “TOST”, which was specially packaged white bread, pre-sliced, to be used in a toaster, but it can also be eaten fresh.
The Velepekara opens new, modern lines for making bread and various kinds of pastry. They offer the “diet-slim bread” (for diabetics), the Moscow bread with 85% of rye flour, and the “corn bread”. The production range of the Velepekara includes 30 types of bread and pastry, and it supplies over 500 sales points.
New silos built, as well as new capacities for processing grains, at the time they were the most modern in the world. The new “tower mill” had the production capacity of 2,400 tons of flour a day, and it was the largest of its kind in the former Yugoslavia. In parallel with construction of the mill, new silos were built to store the wheat that had the designed capacity of 29,000 tons.
1992. – 1995.
Siege of Sarajevo. Klas has had exceptionally long tradition of a well organized company, and at the beginning of the war it had significant stocks of ingredients, fuel, raw materials, spare parts, and this was of critical importance for maintaining the war production, supply and survival in the besieged Sarajevo. The generation capacities were mobilized for production of electricity, connection to natural gas was made in to enable production in spite of impossible conditions. Mostly thanks to numerous humanitarian programs, only during the time of war, the Velepekara Sarajevo supplied 114 million bread loafs for the needs of rational supply, 230g per day per person. In the Sarajevo Mill, total of 44,226,000 kg of wheat was milled, and the Sarko factory produced 620 tons of biscuit. War damage was measured in millions DEM. While carrying out their job during the war and siege of Sarajevo, twenty employees of Klas were killed, and several dozens were wounded.
Management of Klas and its employees put maximum effort into renewing the destroyed, damaged and by war production amortized equipment, and sought solutions to continue with even more dynamic development and introduce new, contemporary technologies. Around 200 pre-war workers came back to work, new employees were hired, as well as skilled workforce. Many humanitarian projects continued, and thanks to them, the production of baked products and pasta was consolidated and stabilized. In 1997, Klas employed 827 workers, out of whom 460 worked in its retail network.
Reconstruction of the mill was completed, and it started operation on 25th September. At that time, in technical and technological terms, the mill was among the most modern in Europe. At the same time, it had the largest capacity in South-Eastern Europe of 450 tons per day. As a part of the mill, installed were the silo for the flour, equipment for homogenization of the flour and a silo for bran. The mill was fully automatized and computer run, and it could have been controlled from a distance. In addition to this project, a new production line of 3,500 pcs/h was installed in the Velepakara, as well as new lines for production of pastries, doughnuts, ciabatta, filo pastry and puff pastry, and leavened dough. Industrial bakery, discount store, wholesale point and coffee/pastry shop were built and started in Klas Centre in Mostar. Also, 20 new delivery vehicles were procured.
Klas invested in purchasing additional share or stocks in the following companies: Mill “Husinski rudar Ljubače”, “Pekara” d.d. Ljubače, “Sprind” d.d. Sarajevo, “Clas-Con” d.d. Sarajevo. In 2007, Klas employed total of 1,475 full time employees. A modern information system “Oracle” was purchased to help run the system.
By purchasing majority package of shares of Klas d.d. Sarajevo on February 22, the AS GROUP, one of the largest BiH groups with majority private capital, activated this food industry. By acquiring Klas, the AS GROUP also became majority owner of two more companies: Sprind d.d. Sarajevo, and the Mlin i pekara d.d. Ljubače – Tuzla. When they joined other companies and brand names owned by the food division of the AS GROUP, such as Vispak, Kent, Master and Oaza, a large food system was created that can drive growth and development of the whole economy of BiH. In only two years since the acquisition, revenues of Klas went up by 50%, and new international markets were won, so Klas, together with other members of the AS GROUP, currently exports their products to 28 countries on four continents.