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Czech meat processors invest to expand output capacities

By Jaroslaw Adamowski , 31-Aug-2016

Two meat processors in the Czech Republic have grown their operations
Two meat processors in the Czech Republic have grown their operations

With the aim of raising their meat processing and packaging capacities, two Czech meat processors have unveiled investments of a total of CZK90 million (€3.4 million). 

Czech meat processor Rabbit Trhovy Stepanov has invested some CZK40m (€1.5m) with the aim to significantly increase the processing and packaging capacity of its facility, according to the information obtained by local broadcaster Ceska Televize. The firm specialises in making a wide range of processed meat products from pork, poultry and rabbit meat.

Its product portfolio includes sausages, meatloafs, pâtés and other products, according to data released by Rabbit Trhovy Stepanov.

Zdeněk Jandejsek, the chief executive of Rabbit Trhovy Stepanov, said the meat processor planned to grow its share of the domestic retail market.

The Czech company is based in Trhovy Stepanov, in the country’s central region, where it also operates its meat processing facility. Its name originates from the fact that, in the early phase of its development, it specialised in processing rabbit meat. Once the company increased its meat processing capacity, Rabbit Trhovy Stepanov added pork and poultry meat products to its range.

Set up in 1991, the group said it is operated by an aggregate workforce of about 1,700 employees, and it posts revenues of close to CZK 7bn (€259m) per year. Trhovy Stepanov is located less than 70km from the Czech Republic’s capital Prague.

Investments by local players

Meanwhile, local firm Maso Plana is also aiming to enhance its presence in the Czech meat market through an investment estimated to be worth some CZK50m (€1.9m). The project allowed the firm to expand its meat cutting, labelling and cutting capacities.

Maso Plana operates a meat processing facility in Plana nad Lužnicí, in the country’s southern part. The company has been active in the Czech market since 1973, when it began its operations as a state-owned entity, and it was privatised in 1993 following the country’s transformation into a market economy. Maso Plana’s facilities in Plana nad Lužnicí are ISO 9001, 14001, OHSAS 18001, IFS, EFSIS, FSIS and HACCP-certified, according to data from the firm.

Domestic red meat supply

The latest developments come amid calls by various Czech politicians to increase the availability of local meat at major retail chains. Czech Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurecka recently said that less than 50% of the red meat sold at local supermarkets was of Czech origin, and that he expected this share to increase in the near future.

Jurecka made his comment following an announcement by the Dutch-owned chain Albert, which stated that 100% of the undiscounted premium red meat available on its shelves would be supplied by Czech producers.

The Czech Republic imports its beef meat predominantly from Poland, the Netherlands and Slovakia. This said, the country also exports its beef meat to Slovakia, Hungary and the Netherlands, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) for the second quarter of 2016.

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