US swine housing supplier moves to the heart of Asia
For many years, US housing and ventilation company Betco manufactured and shipped from its facilities in the US – even when orders came from across the Pacific in Asia. As from mid-2012, the emerging Asian markets can be supplied from inside Asia as a plant and offices in China’s Shandong province were opened.
Betco’s Agri-housing division, headquartered in the United States, has been manufacturing poultry and swine houses for producers all over the world for almost 30 years. Worldwide, at last count, the company has done business with customers in over 60 foreign countries. On the Asian market, the company has been a familiar name for 29 years now. Its oldest housing are located in mainland China – shipped there from the United States.
In looking to the future, the company had to face the challenge of shifting agricultural housing markets and the cost and time spent shipping to the far corners of the world. Their experience in agricultural housing production and their knowledge of overseas markets led them to investigate the prospect of establishing a factory in China. Why? Because it is one of the fastest growing poultry and swine commercial production markets in the world. And being located at the centre of this emerging market – and being able to export easier to Far East and Pacific Rim countries – seemed like a good idea. It was a concept that had been germinating in the minds of the company’s people for some time and it made sense to explore the possibility. But first, they needed to research the market and determine the feasibility of such a venture.
In March of 2011, they looked at the potential for large scale commercial customers in the region. This included known United States producers and well-established Chinese domestic producers. They were able to frequent existing farms and livestock housing in the area to witness actual operations and to determine production needs. Armed with the information gathered, financial implications of such a venture were examined. After determining that there was indeed a market for the company’s houses, they moved ahead with their plans.
In October of the same year, Betco Asia Co, a new company, was registered and the company was officially in business in China. Jiaozhou it was – near Qingdao port, roughly in the middle between Beijing and Shanghai. The location has been chosen for various strategic reasons, among these being that Shandong Province is the largest producer of poultry in China, that Qingdao has a very good port without all the congestion of Shanghai, that costs are much less than in Shanghai, or other large cities, and that the labour pool is very good. Production began at the Jiaozhou manufacturing facility in April 2012 with the first order of nine poultry houses. Since then, production has increased to full capacity with six housesper week. Because of this initial success, new equipment purchases planned will soon double the plant’s output to 12 houses per week – this production will concern both poultry and swine housing. Any poultry or livestock house will be designed on the basis of customer demands. Equipment companies both domestic and foreign aid in getting any housing equipped adequately.
Currently, the Asian division operates out of an approximately 7,000 m2 (75,000 square feet) manufacturing facility, an 800 m2 (8,600 square feet) administrative office and a warehouse adjacent to the factory. The company has a staff of over 60 personnel and is operating two manufacturing shifts. While domestic sales will continue to be the primary focus for the Asian operation, ongoing plans will include exporting houses to other adjacent markets. To that end, a number of large scale projects are being planned and the new facility is in a positive position to meet that demand. The company anticipates a growing demand in China proper and Pacific Rim countries of the Far East for many years to come.
The China commitment is a major step by the company toward fulfilling its mission of becoming the number one producer of the highest quality agricultural housing in the region.
The new offices in Jiaozhou.
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