Danish Crown in ‘meaty’ talks with ITC

by 5m Editor
12 March 2007, at 3:21pm

INDIA - The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mariann Fischer Boel, accompanied by a 28-member delegation representing food and drink companies from across the European Union under the “Tasty Europe“ banner, to explore trade and investment opportunities in the agri-food sector.

One such company, Danish Crown, the largest producers and exporter of processed meat in Europe, is in talks with ITC. These appear to be preliminary discussions and Kjeld Johannesen, president CEO, Danish Crown, says that ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar has been supportive in introducing him to his company members and he is grateful. “It is a renowned company with strong international presence,” Johannesen says. However to say that Danish Crown has tied up with ITC would be incorrect. Johannesen adds he is talking to other companies for a similar business association.

If talks materialise, Danish Crown to begin with will import pork and later would look at the possibility of setting up a small meat-processing unit. “We have been investigating the Indian market for three years now. And we see a market potential for processed meat.” Johannesen says that the company is looking at the high-end section of the market. He put in a word of assurance for the local players that their business will not be hurt with Danish Crown’s entry since its business will be of a small scale. Boel says that the team is talking to Union minister of commerce Kamal Nath on the matter. And she hoping ban on import of beef is also reconsidered.

Johannesen was reticent on investment plans and on when the brand under processed pork would be launched in India. “When we are ready with a business plan we will talk.” Danish Crown exports processed meat to the EU, Japan, Russia, and the USA. The majority of this meat is sold abroad. And Danish Crown is the world’s largest exporter of pork. Beef, sandwich meats, sausages, ready-made dishes are the company’s other products.

Boel hopes to bring wine and liquor to India as well. She says owing to the lifestyle changes of Europeans wine production is going to waste. And that she would not like the produce to be destroyed. In that context it is natural to explore markets.

Source: DNA India

5m Editor