The company had finished expanding its turkey production capacity in Rostov Oblast, Russia in December 2016, right before the first AI outbreak was discovered. The second one, reported in March 2017, forced the company to temporarily cease supplying turkey to the market.
“Eurodon had reached its targeted daily production performance of 500 tonnes (t) of turkey meat in December 2016, but the company’s operation was stopped by AI, and only returned to normal in July 2017,” said Grekova.
As a result, the company manufactured 32,000t of turkey meat in the period from January to October 2017, despite a targeted production performance of 150,000t per year. From January to June it produced 17,000t, and from July to October the daily production level nearly doubled, so in that period the company was able to manufacture another 16,000t.
“We are producing 250-300t of turkey meat per day, and this is already two times higher than the 2016 average of 200t. From November 2017 we are ready to further increase the level to 400t, and to 500t shortly afterwards,” Grekova revealed.
In December 2017, Eurodon plans to start producing 12,000t of turkey meat per month, hence reclaiming its position as Russia’s largest turkey supplier.
“Reaching this goal, we will be able to manufacture 150,000t of turkey meat in 2018. Then, by upgrading our capacity, including our meat processing plant, we will [be able to] add 120,000t of turkey meat per year to our production volumes, reaching 270,000t in total,” added Grekova.
Eurodon’s subsidiary Donstar is also producing duck meat. In this sector, the company plans to produce 28,000t in 2017, slightly up on 2016, when it manufactured 26,000t. The ultimate goal, however, is set at 80,000t of duck meat per year.
A better market needed
Meanwhile, Grekova admitted the demand for turkey in Russia would not grow as fast as it had in the past few years.
“We were able to shake up the market from zero levels [of demand], when the average consumption was 76 grams per capita. However, in order to make every planned project in Russia’s turkey industry successful, consumption needs to be around 5kg per capita,” she estimated.
A rise in consumption of turkey meat in Russia is possible, although it will require time and resources, but in any case, the companies that decided to develop in this segment have been delayed on their projects for two to three years, Grekova suggested.
In 2016, Russia consumed around 220,000t-230,000t of turkey meat, the equivalent of 1.5kg per capita. A rise in demand to the European level of 5kg per capita would expand the size of the domestic market to 750,000t, although most experts anticipate that the real pace of growth will be much more moderate in the years ahead.