Betagro Invests in Provinces, Processing, Feed

THAILAND - Betagro has unveiled plans to invest 1.5 billion baht (THB) in poultry and pork processing plants and two feed mills.
calendar icon 8 June 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The regional unit of Betagro Group has outlined THB1.5-billion- expansion plans in the integrated livestock and meat processing business to tap into growing opportunities in provincial markets, according ot Bangkok Post.

The expansions, to be carried out from 2010 to 2012, would help drive sales of the regional business to THB38 billion by the end of 2012, up from an estimated THB29.3 billion baht this year.

Narongchai Srisantisaeng, senior vice-president for the regional and feed business of Betagro Group, explained: "Our business is growing remarkably in the provinces, especially in the areas of livestock and meat processing (pork and chicken), as well as the retailing of meats, meatballs and sausages."

The provincial markets have performed strongly, with THB27 billion earned in 2009, drawing the sale revenue of Betagro, one of the country's leading integrated agricultural business groups, to gross over 50 billion last year.

Mr Narongchai added: "For that reason, we've planned to set up new processing factories in all regions within the next three years in response to increasing market demands."

At present, the group has three pig-slaughtering and meat-processing plants in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Phatthalung.

The fresh investments will add two pork facilities in the Northeast and the South, reports Bangkok Post. Three chicken-processing plants at locations in the North, North-east, and South will also be built. In addition, two feed mills will be added to the existing eight locations by 2011 to bring the total animal-feed production to 2.5 million tonnes per year.

Its business in the Southern region has been brisk, thanks to high purchasing power boosted by tourism-related businesses such as restaurants and hotels and the fishery industry.

According to regional manager, Trairat Thongplod, the average pork consumption in the 14 southern provinces is high at 22kg per head per year – well above the country's average of 13kg.

The group's total sales from the southern provinces last year reached THB5 billion, outstripping the THB4.3-billion sales in the Northeast. It projected growth of 20 per cent by 2012 with target sales of over six billion baht.

For its operations in southern Thailand, Betagro has 12 facilities, including one pig breeders farm, one feed factory, one hatchery farm, eight Betagro Shops for the wholesale business, and the newly opened Phatthalung pork-processing factory.

Mr Narongchai explained: "Over the past 20 years, our business operations in the southern region concentrated on integrated livestock farming, hatchery and feed production.

"Today, however, we extend to processing pork and chicken, as well as meatballs and sausages manufactured by small factories in strategic locations across the country."

Betagro Southern Co in 2008 had won a 25-year concession to operate a pork processing factory from the Phatthalung Municipality. The company invested about THB50 million to renovate the slaughter house and started operation in May 2009 with an initial capacity of 220 tonnes per day. Pork products from the factory, of the HyMeat brand, are mostly distributed in the lower Southern region through various distribution channels including retailers in traditional markets, restaurants and Betagro Shop.

The Phatthalung pork processing factory has recently won an award as the country's cleanest and most hygienic slaughter house from the Livestock Development Department. The improvement has attracted several provincial municipalities to approach Betagro to help modernise and operate their city slaughter houses.

Mr Narongchai told Bangkok Post: "Having a standard slaughter house and meat plants in the area gives locals access to good quality meat and the municipality still earns the 28-baht slaughtering fee on each pig.

The expansion plans reflects a shift of focus to producing meat merchandise from selling livestock and would support its retail distribution unit, Betagro Shop, which presently has 47 outlets nationwide with eight new outlets to be added this year.

Betagro Group's hub in Lop Buri province has engaged largely in the integrated chicken and swine business, which has contributed significantly to the group's sale target of THB55 billion this year.

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