Construction is scheduled to complete in 2016, and it is anticipated the project will enable the company to almost fully abandon imports of genetic material for its cattle farms.
"Miratorg carefully monitors the health conditions and veterinary welfare of all its livestock. The best seed bulls ensure the preservation and development of the genetic potential of the Aberdeen Angus breed in Russia. By creating a herd of seed bulls numbering 7,000 head by 2016, we will minimise dependence on imports of genetic material in future," said Dmitry Moiseenko, head of Miratorg-Bryansk.
"Also, seed bulls grown on our own farms can adapt more easily to our [Russian] conditions. We know all their features since birth. Within the cattle project this year we plan to produce 100,000 head of calves on 38 farms and the insemination campaign will involve more than 110,000 head of cattle next year."
Miratorg’s project will create the largest herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle in Europe, bred on several dozen farms in the Kaluga, Orel, Tula, Kursk and Smolensk Oblasts of Russia. The overall capacity of the project is 130,000 tonnes (t) of beef per year which would cover up to 25% of the country’s demand for this type of meat.
"Our main target right now is to ensure a high level of reproduction and the health and safety of the animals," added Moiseenko."Stable production of marketable livestock within the scheme ‘cow–calf’ is the basis for the entire project, the goal of which is to provide consumers with high-quality domestic beef."
Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that the project has strategic importance in terms of import substitution, which is why it enjoys state support.
According to official information, during the first quarter of 2015, Miratorg produced 9,000t of beef which is 35% more than during the same period last year. The company has contracts to supply beef products to the largest fast food chains in the country, including McDonald’s and Burger King.
The overall investment in Miratorg’s beef project is estimated at RUB50 billion (US$1.7bn, based on the 2014 exchange rate). However, this figure may grow, due to the devaluation of the Russian ruble since last year.
The company has not yet disclosed the level of investment planned to create the genetic centre. It has also not revealed how much money Miratorg will save by replacing genetic material imports.