Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev praised Cherkizovo as the “champion of the Russian meat processing industry’s push for exports,” and said his ministry will provide any support the company needs in order for it to reach new markets.

Ulyukaev was joined Sergey Mikhailov, CEO of the Cherkizovo Group, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), held on June 16-18.

“Cherkizovo, Russia’s flagship animal breeding and meat processing company, is one of the first in its field to enter foreign markets,” said Ulyukaev. “The company is helping to grow Russia’s non-resource-based exports and our goal is to support this trend and enter new markets. It is highly important for any exporter to understand the demand and prices for their products abroad. We are currently developing a non-financial support system and everyone who signed the agreement today will have full access to this system. I am pleased that we have been able to make this happen as we are already seeing positive results.” 

Growing exports of meat products is one of Cherkizovo’s key areas of development and the company expects its exports to account for 20 percent of total revenue within the next three years, the company stated in a press release. To support this strategy further, Cherkizovo Group signed a cooperation agreement with the Russian Export Center (REC) to provide assistance in expanding its network of foreign partners.

The role the Russian agricultural sector can play in diversifying the Russian economy was a key area of focus at the 2016 SPIEF.

Mikhailov participated in the panel session, ‘APKgrade. Restart in agricultural sector’, where he mentioned the importance of targeting new import countries for Russian agricultural products. The panel highlighted that to do this successfully, work needs to be done to build Russia’s image as an agriculture exporting country, which will not be possible without the help of the veterinary services. The discussion also explored issues within Russia’s domestic agricultural industry, where overproduction of poultry meat is having a negative impact on investment prospects and profitability. 

Cherkizovo building new processing plant

During the course of the forum, Cherkizovo Group also met with Andrey Vorobyov, governor of the Moscow region, about the construction of a new meat processing plant in the Kashira district. Cherkizovo Group will start implementing the project in 2016, with operations set to begin in 2017. This new plant will have an annual capacity of 30,000 tons and will create 250 new jobs in the Moscow region once completed. The Group will invest approximately EUR60 million (US$68 million) into the project.

The new plant in Kashira will complement Cherkizovo’s existing assets in the region, which currently include the Mosselprom and Petelino poultry production clusters, as well as the Ozherelye feed mill. At present, Cherkizovo employs a total of 6,000 people in the Moscow region and has invested over RUB2 billion (US$30 million) into the region’s production assets over the last three years.