The project is to be carried out with the use of state aid, in addition to the company’s own funds.
The company is currently seeking an investment grant of some RON21 million (€4.6m) from the country’s authorities to co-finance the planned investment, according to information obtained by local business daily Ziarul Financiar. The application is currently under review by the Romanian Ministry of Finance.
Should the meat industry player obtain an investment grant for its project, this would allow Safir to more than double its existing workforce of 366 employees. Last year, the meat producer reported sales of more than RON133m (€29.1m), and a net profit of about RON440,000 (€96,000).
Safir currently operates a slaughterhouse enabled with a capacity of about 4,000 head per hour, three poultry farms, a protein flour plant, as well as a mixed fodder factory. In the coming years, the company said it aims to raise its production capacity by opening new farms, expanding its distribution capability, as well as by expanding to new foreign markets.
Export sales on the rise
The Romanian meat industry player said that, over the past years, it has managed to increase the share of exports in its production to 15% of the total. Safir aims to secure new customers in Asia and, currently, some of its main export markets include Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta and Bulgaria. Outside the EU, the firm exports its products to Georgia and Kosovo.
Set up in 1991, Safir said its slaughterhouse is IFS-, BRC-, and ISO 9001-, 14001-, 18001- and 22000-certified. Local entrepreneur Ghiorghi Safir is the company’s majority shareholder and founder, and manages the firm together with his two sons, George and Iulian Safir.
In its domestic market, Safir sells the majority of its products under the Deliciosul de Vaslui (Delicacies from Vaslui) brand. The firm’s portfolio includes chicken breasts, legs, drumsticks, wings and other poultry meat products, according to data from Safir.
Meat consumption could expand
It is noteworthy that the Romanian market is dominated by pork meat. An average Romanian consumes about 29kg of pork meat per year. Poultry meat is the country’s second most popular type of meat, with an average annual consumption of some 20.1kg per capita, followed by beef and sheep/goat meat, with only about 5.6kg and 2.3kg per year, respectively, according to data released by the state-run National Institute of Statistics (INSSE).
This said, various local industry players expect the country’s meat consumption to be on the rise in the coming years as a result of the former government’s decision from 2015 to cut the value-added tax (VAT) on meat from 24% to 9%.