On September 1, 2008 the cooperative groups Unicopa and
Terrena announced the merger of their pig businesses to create a large pig
industry in the west of France.
"With the entry of Terrena, the new
entity will have over 2.2 million pigs and bring together nearly 1,000 producers
in the regions Brittany, Pays-de-la-Loire and Poitou-Charentes," the
co-operatives explain in a statement.
Terrena pork also joined the
Initia platform for marketing and export of live pigs. "With nearly five million
pigs, Initia reinforces its position as a major player in the market for pork in
France with 20% of pigs marketed and has a strong sense of involvement in fixing
the price of pork," the press release said.
The partnership agreement also provides a minority stake
for Terrena in specialty products of international private company Argoat Le Hir
This subsidiary of Unicopa posts the third largest
industrial processed products on the French market, after US giant Smithfield
Foods and Fleury Michon.
The four factories of Brocéliande (Loudéac,
Villers-Bocage, Bécherel, Roanne) process the equivalent of 1.6 million pigs
into 55,000 tonnes of deli-meat, including 25,000 tonnes of ham, sold at
supermarkets. The brand Brocéliande is gaining reputation as a branded product.
The agreement between Unicopa and
Terrena marks a new step in bringing the two cooperative groups together, who
are already allies with their single central purchasing point for agricultural
For Terrena the joining with Unicopa is a radical change of
strategy. So far, Terrana was allied with pork Arca, the third pork producer in
France, but just got rid of them, refusing to follow the adventure of a merger
with Breton pig giant pig Cooperl, the first French pig group.
Arca-Cooperl is indeed imminent, since it should be in effect on 2 September and
endorsed on 4 September by delegates of the two groups.
For Terrena, the
choice of this new partner is not trivial because Unicopa comes to divest its
fresh poultry industry.
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