Brand-Building is New Focus for Betagro

THAILAND - Betagro has announced plans to develop its chicken, egg and pork brands, as well as a doubling of pig meat output.
calendar icon 20 October 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

The goal of achieving sustainable growth has led to Betagro Group, the country's second-largest chicken exporter, focusing more on the building up of three brands to enhance access to different markets.

The Nation reports that the plan is focused on developing S-Pure as a flagship brand to present the company's image in fresh chicken and pork products, while HyMeat is focused on high-quality eggs and the Betagro brand itself is for export and corporate purposes.

The group says the three brands will emphasise the company's premium-quality production for both the local and export markets.

The group has enjoyed average annual growth of 15 per cent and is targeting sales of 60 billion baht (THB) this year.

Vasit Taepaisitphongse, executive vice president and group chief operating officer, said the company's investment from now on would focus on regional development by upgrading facilities and technology.

He said: "Our operation is not as big as the likes of global brand Nestle, as our main business management is concentrated on business-to-business practice right now." He added that the group had also launched a new product to access the European Union market.

Last week, Mr Vasit led the group's executive team and a media group to visit the world's largest food showcase, Anuga, which is held every two years in the German city of Cologne.

Betagro Group invested about THB6 million to set up a large booth, which was aimed not only at promoting the Betagro brand but also the new charcoal-grilled Yakitori product. This was the second time that the group had taken part in the fair.

Mr Vasit said: "We have to promote the Betagro brand as that is our strategy for the export market, while S-Pure and HyMeat are for the domestic market," adding that the group needed to develop new products that differentiate the company from what its customers, original-equipment manufacturers, have ordered. The company deals with up to 60 producers in the EU.

Despite the global financial crisis, food companies around the world are still keen on sourcing, which he said showed that food business was still active, particularly in the EU, which is a large-scale market still placing orders with the company.

"In particular, the EU market has a limited export quota of 160,000 tonnes of imported chicken products from Thailand, under which our customers have been allocated only 1.4 per cent, and their demand now exceeds the quota," Mr Vasit told The Nation.

To achieve its goal, the company invests an average of THB3 billion per annum in creating assets through new plant establishment such as feed mills, a sourcing house and slaughterhouses.

The company has recently established a new feed mill in Lop Buri with a production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes per month.

The plan is to double the group's pig production, expanding its swine farming and pork business. This will also enable the group to increase access to the food-service and consumer sector.

"Our direction is to penetrate the premium pork market further with a production increase of 100 per cent and to increase the group's market share to 10 to 12 per cent," Mr Vasit added.

The group's five core businesses are feed meal, for which another plant is earmarked in Phetchaburi; regional business covering processing lines for chicken and pork, and a standard egg-grading house; chicken business, which is now focused on upstream management and automation to reduce costs; pig farming, concentrating on quality multi-generation breeding and slaughterhouse development; and animal-medicine manufacturing.

According to The Nation, Mr Vasit said the group's production this year had been lower than usual because of a manufacturing problem. However, sales are higher than last year, particularly for pork products.

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