Betagro is preparing for major expansion, unveiling Bt1.5billion plan focused on the expansion of its pork and chicken processing plants to tap into growing opportunities in Thailand's provincial markets.
The expansion plan to be carried out from 2010 to 2012, is designed to ensure the group's sales grow of high quality meat to serve rising market demand, particularly in the South and Northeast, by an average of 15-to -20 per cent per year, generating sales of Baht 29 billion this year as compared to Baht 27 billion in 2009.
The senior vice president of Betagro's regional and feed business, Narongchai Srisantisaeng, says the expansion plan will include the establishment of five slaughterhouses for pigs and three processing plants for chickens.
Two of the slaughterhouses will be in the Northeast and another two will be in the South with chicken processing plants, in the North, South and Northeast.
Narongchai says Betagro also planned to expand the number of its "Betagro Shop" retail outlets from 47 to 55 in Thailand, during its planned three year expansion program.
Demand for pork in the South has reached 160,000 pigs per month, he says, adding that, Betagro's production accounts for only 5,500 pigs. “Despite the region's predominantly Muslim population, pork consumption per head there is the highest in the country, at 22 kilograms per year, compared with the national average of 13 kilograms.”
“Betagro's production, mainly focused on the food service business, accounts for 60 per cent of its total capacity while retail markets account for 30 per cent and small shops the rest,” he says, adding that the group has undertaken contract farming strategy for its raw material supplies, and breeding parent stock of both pigs and chickens, to ensure that farmers will produce high quality meat.
"High quality breeding stock will ensure that the contract farmers produce high quality meat. We want to sell meat rather than live animals in the future," Narongchai says, adding that Betagro is also studying investment opportunities to establish livestock farms in neighbouring countries; Laos, Cambodia and Burma.