1 – Why BETEN, originally a French company, got itself specialized on Eastern countries, particularly Ukraine?

After having worked in France, in Northern Africa, in the Middle East and then in Asia, the founder of BETEN, Mr. Jean ROCHE had made a contract with the USSR for building patented modular plants at that time in all the republics of the Soviet Union. While he was currently constructing his second plant in southern Ukraine, the Communist bloc collapsed and many countries took their independence. In 1991, he decided to move his representative office from Moscow to Odessa, and to finish the construction of the plant. Realizing the immense potential of this country, he decided to invest there his time and his know-how. Thus our Company benefits today from 20 years of experience in different sectors of activity in Ukraine and also in other CIS countries where it had the opportunities to implement different projects such as Moldova, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.

2 – Is your company French or Ukrainian one?

The BETEN Company is registered in the Register of Commerce and Enterprises in the city of Creteil in France. Our Company has its permanent representative office in Kyiv, Ukraine since 15 years.

3 – To get more information on BETEN activity should I call to Ukraine or to France?

If you call from France of from another Western European country your first contact would be the French Office, and if you call from one of the CIS countries you would better to contact our Ukrainian Office.

4 – What is the reason why your activities are so diversified?

Our Company was able to evolve progressively adapting itself to the world and Ukrainian local conjunctures. Depending on different stages of transition of this country and this geographical zone our Company was involved mostly in agriculture projects at the beginning, then in industrial and later in commercial projects and finally today in the solution of energy problematic. All our know-how and experiences are complementary and allow us to have a transversal vision of each project in order to ensure its successful and sustainable implementation.

5 – Mr. Roche, the founder of the BETEN Company, had been involved during his career in the sector of nuclear energy and today he is developing renewable energies in Ukraine. Contradictory isn’t it?

At that time, nuclear power presented a progress comparing pollution and the risks of coal extraction industry. Mr. Roche was specialized in the maintenance and the environmental safety of nuclear plants (management and liquid, solid and gaseous effluent treatment). He knows very well the risk management of this particular activity, and the limits of the sector. Today, the global weight of this energetic solution is estimated much better in terms of costs and we realize that renewable energies are actually not that expensive, and certainly much more sustainable over time. Thus, all the professional experience of Mr. Roche is being invested in these new solutions for the future, the public and private actors now seem willing to support.

6 – Your agriculture products such as essential oils produced in Ukraine, aren’t they polluted by the radioactivity in consequence of Chernobyl accident?

When BETEN decided in 1998 to launch itself in the production of aromatic plants and cereals and oil-bearing plants, we had taken samples of soil in different places where we wanted to develop our activities (particularly in the area of Vinnitsa 250 km far from Kiev in the north-west of Ukraine) that we sent for analysis to CRIIRAD in France. This famous independent organism specialized in all matters of radioactivity had analyzed our samples and established a level of radioactivity lower than in the samples from the less radioactive regions in France. How is this possible? Chernobyl is located on the northern border between Ukraine and Belarus. The day of the accident, the wind blowing from the south to the north of the country took the cloud over Belarus, the Baltic countries and to Finland, Sweden and Norway where the alert was given and then the radioactive cloud came down to France and then to Italy and Germany but it never came back to Ukraine protected from the Western Europe by the chain of the Carpathian Mountains. We have done analysis on numerous occasions over several years of cereals production, and even have analyzed the samples of essential oils sold to our customers. The level of radioactivity was always zero.

7 – Ukraine, as an emerging country, seems to offer interesting opportunities but what about manifest political and economic instability?

  Ukraine is a young democracy that is still seeking its guidelines but nevertheless marking strong progress towards stability and prosperity. We have been there since the country's independence in 1991 and we see the constant improvement of living and working in this country with unique potential in Europe in the matter of richness of its natural resources, industrial infrastructure and the existing level of training and motivation of its people. There have already been four political democratic changes; therefore the new system is working properly. Even the "Orange Revolution" has shown a maturity and certain political composure.

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