Despite the continuing hostilities, pig breeder Genesus plans to strengthen its presence on the Ukrainian market, partly taking advantage of support from the UK government, Simon Grey, general manager of Genesus in Europe, told local news outlet Interfax.
“I plan to meet with potential and existing partners to expand animal breeding in Ukraine. The UK government has allocated a fund of £3.5 billion (€ 3.96 billion) to support projects aimed at bolstering prosperity in Ukraine. Of course, food production clearly falls under the rules of this fund,” Grey said.
Genesus’ business partners run several pig breeding facilities in Ukraine as a part of Agrarian Company 2004 – a joint venture with local agricultural holding Vitagro located in Popovtsy village, Khmelnytsky region in the western part of the country. Genesus also imports breeding pigs to Ukraine from UK and Canada, according to Interfax.
Ukraine has a strong potential to expand industrial pork production, while in the European Union, it is shrinking, he assumed. “Over the past year and a half, the European pig industry has lost about 10% of sows due to economic reasons,” he said, estimating that the overall losses equalled to 1.1 million sows. “On the global market, Europe has traditionally been a net exporter, but in the current situation, Europe looses production capacities covering its own consumption, and in the near future, it will become a net port importer,” he said.
North-Western Europe does not want livestock production and is doing its best to get rid of farms, citing environmental fears among the key reasons for such policy, Grey said.
In light of that, the business could be interested in investing money into the Ukrainian pig industry, eyeing the European pork market. In addition, Ukraine has good chances to ramp up pork production thanks to global population growth since pork remains one of the most commonly consumed types of meat, Grey added.
Even now, in the context of the continuing war with Russia, foreign companies are willing to invest in Ukraine, said Sergey Kasyanov, general director of KSG Agro, one of the leading Ukrainian pork producers, who also participated in the interview.
However, in order to attract investors and fully unravel its potential as a pork exporter, the Ukrainian pig industry must comply with the stringent Western environmental and animal welfare standards and make business operations fully transparent, he added.