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Betagro urges pork industry upgrade

Thai pork producer Betagro Group's executive vice president Nopporn Vayuchote says that the industry standards in pork slaughterhouses must be upgraded to resolve the current problems of volatile prices and inconsistent supplies.

Most pigs are butchered, he says, at Thailand's wide-spread 1,400 substandard municipal abattoirs that lack the proper facilities to store meat to prevent oversupply.

Although costs to build an export-standard slaughterhouse are high, he has called on the Thai government to take the matter seriously and upgrade the standards of the Thai pig industry which now has the reputation among foreign buyers for 'dubious meat sanitation requirements'.

Success
Pointing to the success of Thailand's chicken producers who years ago invested in cold storage supply management that has worked successfully, with rare complaints and disputes over market prices, the Thai pig industry should do the same, he says, adding that the cost of an export-standard slaughterhouse is about 300-400 million baht (€6.2-8.3 million baht), with most of the money going for cold storage facilities.

Betagro, which has formed joint ventures with Japanese food giants, Sumitomo and Ajinomoto, producing processed pork and raw meat to sell in Japan, has seen a minimal effect from the unstable prices, and plans to tap into its export performance growth by investing 400 million baht (€8.3 million) to open four new pig farms in Lop Buri and Prachin Buri Provinces and another abattoir in the North, which would add 24,000 fattening pigs and 4,000 parent pigs to the current 800,000 and 40,000, it now raises.

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