Croatian pig producers – the Ivancic family – signed a contract with JSR Genetics, the UK-based international pig breeding company, for the supply of breeding stock to their Agro-farmer d.o.o business based at Sevete Ludbreske, Croatia.
As JSR’s first Croatian agents, licensed to sell JSR stock throughout the country, general director Bozidar Ivancic and his son Ivica, who operate Agro-farmer as a pig, dairy and arable enterprise, have long planned to grasp the opportunities presented by the developing Croatian pork market. However, establishing the right partnership, at the right time, has been crucial.
Swine fever/ Foot-and-Mouth a set back
“We first made contact with Paul Anderson, JSR’s International sales director, over five years ago,” says Bozidar Ivancic, “but Croatia has had setbacks: swine fever, foot and mouth disease and, of course, the financial crisis. However, we could always see great future prospects and were determined to overcome any challenges. We researched genetics companies worldwide and JSR’s reputation for world class genetics is second to none. Their scientific approach and technical back-up will help us to optimise performance here in Croatia, for local producers. We now believe that the time is right for Agro-farmer and so have made our investment.”
First JSR stock to arrive this year
The first shipment of JSR stock will arrive in Croatia in December 2010 and will include Genepacker 90 parent gilts, chosen for their consistent prolificacy and longevity, Genepacker Large White and Landrace great grandparent gilts and boars and, as terminal sires, Geneconverter 600s, selected for their fast, cost effective growth.
For Paul Anderson, the partnership rewards his support of Bozidar and Ivica over the last five years and ‘opens the door’ into Croatia, a market which JSR regards as having great scope for development. “Bozidar and Ivica have been determined to pinpoint the right time for expansion,” says Mr Anderson, “just as they have thoroughly researched their genetics provider – and we will respond with equal commitment and enthusiasm. In Croatia the pig population has increased by 13% between 2008 and 2009 rising to 1.25 million, of which approximately 150,000 are sows. With Croatia likely to enter the EU in the next couple of years any period of increased prosperity will improve diets – pork is already very popular in Croatia. This is an ideal opportunity for us to demonstrate the capability of JSR Genetics and the stock chosen will help Agro-farmer improve both pork quality and productivity throughout the region.”
Herd housed in new pig unit
Agro-farmer’s nucleus herd will be exclusively housed in a new pig unit, built on a greenfield site to be completed in November 2010. Paul Anderson’s success with the Ivancic family is already breeding further success for JSR and contacts have been established with potential partners from other regions of Croatia. “Local partners displaying dedication and attention to detail, like Bozidar and Ivica, give JSR the best opportunity to further develop our global reputation as a supplier of world class genetics. Our specialist, scientific expertise combined with their knowledge of local markets and conditions provides an ideal format for success. I look forward to progress reports from Agro-farmer and to the continued growth of pig production throughout the region.”