A €100m plant will be built in the Tambov region of Russia, and should be operational in 2014, before reaching full capacity in 2015.
Cherkizovo CEO Sergey Mikhailov said: “Cherkizovo is already the largest agro-industrial group in Russia, and, by launching this new project with Grupo Fuertes, we will further strengthen our leading positions and provide customers with a new high-quality and healthy meat product. Consumption of turkey has shown significant growth in Russia and we expect to soon be among the largest turkey suppliers in the country.
“Grupo Fuertes has many years of experience that will ensure the highest product standards and quality control – we look forward to working with them on this joint venture. In addition, the proximity of the turkey production complex to our existing meat processing facilities will provide substantial synergy benefits, and our large-scale distribution network will enable rapid and efficient delivery of new products to the markets of Central Russia.”
The 5,000ha plant will have an annual capacity of 25-30,000 tonnes (t) of turkey meat, which could be increased to 50,000t in the medium term. It will be financed through Cherkizovo and Grupo Fuertes’ existing funds, as well as bank loans, while the Tambov regional administration has agreed to provide the necessary infrastructure for the construction of the complex.
According to Cherkizovo, turkey consumption has grown dynamically over recent years, and is currently around 100,000t a year. It grew 20% between 2009 and 2010, while industrial turkey production increased by 46% and imports dropped to approximately 30% of the market.
Although per capita consumption (0.68kg) is still much lower than in the rest of the EU (around 4kg), the company believes the turkey market is flourishing, based on the nutritional assets of the meat.