Dutch poultry hatching firm plots move in Russia

By Eugene Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

The multi-species animal breeding firm is flocking to Russia's turkey market
The multi-species animal breeding firm is flocking to Russia's turkey market

Related tags Meat Russia Livestock Poultry Processing equipment & plant design

Netherlands-based Hendrix Genetics plans to build a complex producing hatching eggs for turkeys in Russia, according to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. 

In a report, it has said the new complex will be able to produce 6.5 million hatching eggs per year, with the potential to increase volumes in future. It also can rear up to 70,000 chicks annually. The Ministry said the company was expected to invest €20 million to €30m into the project.

Matt McCready, Hendrix’s director of business development, commented: “We are exploring projects at this stage to produce turkey hatching eggs in Russia, for the local market. The projects mentioned below are not at the construction phase. We expect to be able to make an announcement in this area soon. Russia is an attractive market, due to the growth in consumption of turkey meat domestically, as well as the rapid modernisation and expansion of the country’s agricultural and food industry. We are looking for opportunities to work with partners on joint projects and to support their turkey operations.​”

In a note sent to GlobalMeatNews​, Alexander Tkachev, Russia’s Agriculture Minister, said the opening of the project, which he hoped could happen as early as this year, would make Hendrix Genetics a leading player in the Russian market for turkey eggs and chicks – current producers sell 50 million units a year.

Russian market grab

Tkachev said: “According to our assessment, the launch of a new factory would allow the company to control up to 15-17% of the Russian market.​”

And he promised: “[The] Russian federal government, together with the authorities of that Russian region, where a new plant is built, will provide all the needed support and assistance to the investor.​”

In the meantime, leading Russian farmers and agricultural enterprises have already welcomed the new project. According to Vyacheslav Smauts, head of Voronezh-based Smauts & Partners, a major central Russia food producer, the Dutch company has chosen the right time for the implementation of such project in Russia, as demand for poultry hatching eggs and chicks in the country remains high.

Suspended supply

He told GlobalMeatNews​: “Amid the lack of supplies of hatching eggs and youngsters from Europe, due to avian influenza and the sanctions regime, Russian farmers have no regular sources of supplies, even being forced to supply the necessary materials from Canada, at very high costs. Prior to the sanctions wars, supplies came from countries such as Poland, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Hungary and Bulgaria. However, in recent years supplies from these countries have been suspended.​”

Russia’s turkey hatching egg production is currently dominated by Eurodon​, Russia’s leading turkey producer and its only industrial-scale hatching egg producer. In 2016, it produced 9.1 million eggs, of which about 3 million were sold to third-party producers. That means Hendrix Genetics would be able to find its niche in Russia, said an Agriculture Ministry official.

Tkachev predicted that Hendrix Genetics’ products would be in demand not only among Russia’s largest poultry farms, but also among small farmers, spurring interest in turkey production.

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