Cherkizovo Group is one of the top three pork producers in Russia. After being instrumental in building Russia’s pork industry from the ground up, the Company currently raises over 1.5 million pigs per year at 15 pork complexes.
The early 2000s was a difficult period for Russia’s pork industry as the country was heavily dependent on imports. Industrial pork production was slumping, and the pork complexes set up during Soviet times no longer met modern requirements for efficiency and competitiveness. A large proportion of pigs were raised on private farms that could not provide the required bio-protection level for the stock. Understanding the need for import substitution and recognising the potential of this market segment, Cherkizovo started to establish an industrial pork industry in Central Russia.
In total, Cherkizovo Group has invested over US$ 0.5 billion in building and buying new pork complexes, which have been the Company’s most capital intensive projects. All of the pork complexes the Company has built in the Voronezh, Lipetsk, Tambov and Penza Regions were designed from the outset with modern production efficiency and veterinary security requirements in mind. According to independent industry experts, the complexes built by Cherkizovo Group surpass comparative foreign facilities by many indicators.
The Pork Division has shown impressive growth. After reaching the one million pigs per year milestone by 2011, our facilities bred over 1.5 million pigs in 2014. In this same year, Cherkizovo Group maintained its position as one of the three leaders in the National Pig Farmers Union rating.
One of Cherkizovo Group’s competitive advantages in the pork industry is its international team of experienced specialists. Our team includes the best veterinarians and pig rearing and fattening specialists from the US and Brazil, the world leaders in pork production. These specialists have extensive experience at well-known companies, including Smithfield and BRF Brasil Foods. By implementing best practice at our facilities, we have achieved high piglet survival and feed conversion rates.
Our Pork Division sells live pigs to our customers, who include meat processing plants and other processors. The cornerstone of our success is, therefore, strict compliance with veterinary security regulations. We consider all details, from locating pork complexes based on a region’s prevailing wind direction to the availability of disinfectant barriers on the roads leading to our complexes. Access to the livestock is strictly limited, and employees must take a shower and change into disinfected work clothes before entering and leaving the complex. Bringing any food products into the pork complexes is prohibited, and employees of the complex are forbidden from keeping livestock or poultry at home.
Cherkizovo Group acquired a nucleus unit in Voronezh Region in 2012 in order to breed high-grade livestock. Purebred Yorkshire, Landrace and Large White gilts and boars are produced there.