Pork Commentary: Road Trip Russia – Week 304 September 2013
RUSSIA - "Last week, our trip continued in Russia continued in the Ural Region of East Central Russia," writes Jim Long.
Meetings were with Government and Private Enterprise. The Ural region we were in was mostly flat except for giant hills created by old coal mines. The Ural Region was the area that has much of Russia’s heavy industry and was the region that was far enough from the German-Russian frontlines to manufacture military hardware during World War II. The Stalin tank was built in large quantities in World War II in this region.
The crops this year weren’t good with small grain yield no more than 40 bushels to an acre due to drought. The region has large scale chicken production and government officials wish to encourage pork production. As one government official told us, Russia is importing half its pork needs. It has no reason not to be self-sufficient, land, grains, capital etc. If Russia’s pork consumption per capita ever got to European levels, Russia would need to add three million sows to be self-sufficient! Almost four times what it is today!
On our trip we visited our customer Ariant. Genesus has delivered Ariant four 747’s of registered purebred breeding stock with four more to go. It is the largest single order from North America ever to Russia. Ariant currently has swine production, slaughter plants and 350 retail stores focused on pork sales (They also sell and produce wine, they own 70 per cent of all grape vineyards in Russia).
Currently there are new swine farms under construction and new slaughter and processing plant and more company retail stores. It’s a real farm to fork enterprise and they recognize that building a premium brand takes world class swine production and superior meat quality. A brand based on real quality not just a story. We are proud that Ariant after scouring the world to find the best genetics for their farm to fork program chose Genesus to provide their breeding stock and service package. It’s an exciting time being pork of an energetic visionary project based on results.
While we were in the Urals, we met senior government officials and an agreement in principle was reached with Genesus, Ariant and the Government of Chelyabinsk to work together to develop a Swine Genetic Center to accelerate the genetic technology of the region and Russia.
The Government of Chelyabinsk is quite aggressive in the pursuit of Agricultural development and sees the region from the historical perspective of being on the legendary 'Silk Road' that linked China to Europe. They see the opportunity for trade east and west and recognise the need for the world to double food production by 2050 and wants to be part of the opportunity and solutions.
Have to say quite the adventure for a boy who grew up on a 10 acre farm. It’s a big world, added Mr Long.
|Author: Jim Long, President & CEO, Genesus Genetics|
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