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Betagro expansion on track despite H1N1

Despite the discovery of the novel influenza A (H1N1) in a pig in Saraburi, Thailand, Betagro Group, one of Thailand's leading pork producers, says its investment and sales expansion in the pork business remains on track.

The company says no impact can be seen from the discovery, and is going ahead with plans for an official opening early next year of its new venture with Japanese partners to process pork into ham and sausage products, mostly for export to Japan.

Betagro Group has entered into a joint venture with the Sumitomo Corp of Japan, enabling Betagro to initiate Thailand's only SPF swine farming technology and pork processing plant.

Joint ventures
Other joint ventures have also been established with the Ajinomoto Group to produce frozen cooked products using SPF swine and in March this year, the company formed Itoham Betagro Foods with initial capital of 172 million baht (€3.7 million) with Itoham Foods, Ajinomoto Thailand, and the Itoham subsidiary Hoei & Co.

Betagro's swine business, is expected to earn 5 billion baht (€107 million) this year, from various products made from one million pigs and is part of the estimated 50 billion baht (€1.07 billion) Betagro Group expects to earn in 2009, while chicken remains the core contributor with about 17 billion baht (€362 million).

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