Cherkizovo Group, the largest vertically integrated meat producer in Russia, will be adding to its pig operations with the building and refurbishing of pig farms.

The company on January 15 announced a major deal signed by its pork division in which the company secured a loan of RUB15.4 billion (US$230 million) from Alfa-Bank to finance the planned growth. That loan will be used to build, refurbish, and upgrade pig farms, purchase equipment for them, as well as acquire breeding materials, hybrid breeder sows, machinery and specialized vehicles. 

With the funds available under the open credit line, the company plans to build two sow farms and up to 20 nursery and finisher sites, of which two are scheduled for completion in 2019. In total, five new nursery and finisher sites will be built in 2019.

Cherkizovo Group’s mid-term strategy for the pork business is to boost performance by using the most cutting-edge production facilities and putting in place one of world’s best finisher nutrition programs. The company, in a press release, stated that it strives to make pork production as cost-efficient as possible to strengthen its competitive position.

“Cherkizovo will not be complacent and will make every effort to enhance efficiency, cut costs, increase production volumes and bolster margins,” the company stated.

Cherkizovo Group is also involved in the production and processing of chickens and turkeys, as well as the production of a variety of crops, including wheat, corn, soybeans, barley and sunflowers.  According to the Poultry International Top Poultry Companies Survey, Cherkizovo is tied with the Ukraine’s MHP as the sixth largest poultry company in Europe. Both companies slaughtered 312 million broilers in 2017. However, Cherkizovo’s capacity has since grown with the December 2018 acquisition of Altaisky Broiler from fellow Russian company Prioskolie, which is the ninth largest poultry company in Europe.