“The decision to expand our plant was taken owing to the increasing demand for high-quality Polish beef in Europe. We estimate that 70% of the production will go to European Union markets. To comply with high-quality standards, we invested in the most modern cutting and packaging technologies,” Andrzej Gąsiorowski, technical director of ZM Zakrzewscy, told local news site Portalspozywczy.pl.
Investment to raise capacities
With a daily capacity of 100 tonnes (t), the new facility is based in Kosów Lacki, in the country’s central Mazowieckie region, where its meat processing plant is based. The company said that, as part of the investment, the facility was fitted with Flowfresh antimicrobial-treated cementitious-urethane flooring with a depth of 6mm.
The value of the latest investment was not disclosed by ZM Zakrzewscy.
Over the past few years, the Polish company has finalised a number of projects to expand and modernise its facilities in Kosów Lacki. In 2015, ZM Zakrzewscy opened a new cold storage facility with a storage capacity of up to 8,000t. Two years earlier, ZM Zakrzewscy modernised and upgraded its pig and cattle slaughtering capacities, according to data from the company.
Beef exports drive growth
The project’s focus on export sales is related to the relatively low consumption of beef in the Polish market. The average Pole is estimated to consume only 1.5kg of beef per year, as indicated by figures from the Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders (PZPBM).
“Beef, as one of the most expensive types of meat, is not popular in Poland,” BGZ BNP Paribas bank said in a report on the Polish meat industry, released in 2015. “It is also worth emphasising that the consumption of… beef and veal has continued to decrease over the past 15 years.”
As domestic demand remains sluggish, Poland-based beef meat businesses are making efforts to raise their foreign sales. From January to July 2017, the country’s beef producers and processors exported a total of 221,600t of various products, an increase of 6% compared with the first seven months a year earlier, according to data from the Warsaw-based Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics (IERiGZ).
In addition to ZM Zakrzewscy’s exports to the EU’s member states, the company said it also sells its products to other countries in North and South America, Africa and Asia. These include Canada, Bolivia, Ecuador, China, Vietnam, Mongolia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal, among others.
Set up in 1994, ZM Zakrzewscy was founded by brothers Janusz and Dariusz Zakrzewski who remain the company’s owners.