The facility will focus on processing poultry meat and has a capacity of about 330,000 broilers, or 600 tonnes (t), per year, Ranko Perućić, the plant’s managing director, told local daily Dnevne novine DAN.
New jobs to be created
Perućić said that, at present, the plant is operated by some 27 workers. Under the plan, the company is to hire between 11 and 19 further employees in the coming months to raise its processing capacity, according to the managing director.
The meat processing plant is owned by Dutch businessman Kornel Spil, and it was launched under an investment worth about €1.5 million. Spil signed a deal to acquire the facility, with production first launched in December 2015. The plant was fitted with new equipment and machinery, and company representatives said the plant was now the largest and most modern meat processing facility in Montenegro.
Poultry meat deficit in Montenegro
According to the plant’s director, Novi Monteživ aims to sell its output predominantly in the Montenegrin market which has been under-supplied.
“Research from several months ago allowed our company to establish that the Montenegrin market lacks a significant amount of high-quality, fresh poultry meat,” Perućić said. “Our facility’s production will allow us to cover this deficit.”
The plant was to launch its processing activities last March, but deliveries of poultry meat started last October. The delay was partly caused by a row between Novi Monteživ and local utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG). As a result of this, the meat processor said it decided to sue the state-owned electricity supplier, seeking compensation for its incurred losses.
“Due to this seven-month delay, the company suffered damages, which was the reason for initiating litigation against EPCG,” Perućić said.
On a related note, in line with the expanding demand for poultry meat in the domestic market, the number of Montenegrin poultry livestock rose last year to 606,225 head. This represented an increase of about 2% compared with 2014, according to data from the state-run Statistical Office of Montenegro (MONSTAT). This was accompanied by a decrease in the country’s cattle livestock, which fell 1.2% to 92,452 head, and an increase in Montenegro’s pig population, which rose by 13% to some 24,951 head, the office said in a market report.
Meanwhile, the country’s exports of meat and processed meat products have also reported an increase since the beginning of this year. From January to the end of October 2016, Montenegro exported about €21.27m-worth of products, up 2.7% compared with the first 10 months of last year, according to figures from MONSTAT.
Nikšić is the country’s second-largest city, and it is located about 50km north of Montenegro’s capital Podgorica.