According to Mykola Babenko, executive director of the Meat Industry Association, Ukrainian meat processors are concerned about major negative factors regarding meat supply which has led to unaffordable retail meat prices for the majority of the nation.
The main factors are: over-spenditures in pig farming leading to high prices for produced pigs, even comparing to imported meats; closures of over 2,000 pig farms over the past six years; and the reduction of number of pigs and the shortage of local pigs for meat processing needs partly covered by pork imports from the EU and Canada.
Mykola Babenko said: “We have decided not to wait for the hundreds more of pig farms closures and are initiating a 5-year Program to support the development of pig farming in Ukraine — New Pig Production-2025. It’s aim is to stimulate the breeding of pigs for the needs of the meat industry of Ukraine up to 20 million heads at a time and more. This is the number of pigs Ukraine has had in 1991, so it’s not an abstract goal”
Currently the capacities of the Ukrainian meat processing companies are less than half loaded. The Meat Industry Association believes that domestic pork consumption has the potential to at least double in volumes. Meat should become affordable and available to the Ukrainian consumers, and a global pork shortage will help sustain demand.
Mr Babenko added: “Our goal is to help solve the problem of global pork shortage and make Ukraine one of the leading competitors in the meat market. Ukrainian chicken has already achieved global success, now it’s pork’s time. In partnership with Center for Improvement of Animal Breeding, with the financial support of the Meat Industry Association participants, we are ready to support the expansion and modernization of existing pig farms, along with guidance for the new investors — Ukrainian and foreign farmers who have interest in pig farming projects with the return on investment rate of about 100% per year. We guarantee sustainable profits, sales, legal protection and comprehensive investment support,”