Kashira, Moscow Region, Russia – 17July 2018 – Cherkizovo Group (MOEX: GCHE), Russia's largest meat producer, held the official opening ceremony at a unique fully automated smoked sausage plant near Kashira.
"Despite being a highly diversified and urbanised area, the Moscow Region places a special emphasis on supporting and investing in its agricultural sector," Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said at the opening ceremony. "It comes as no surprise, as it has all the opportunities to bring significant upgrades to the industry. Today we are opening a unique facility – an advanced meat processing plant set to become a powerful driver for Russia's agriculture and a showcase for achievements of the national food industry. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the investors. I have known Igor Babaev and his son Sergey for twenty years now and had the pleasure of seeing how they keep improving the industrial landscape in our country year after year. This new facility is undoubtedly the harbinger of the upcoming digital transformation in Russia."
Apart from Mr Gordeyev, the opening ceremony was attended by Andrey Vorobyev, Governor of the Moscow Region, Igor Babaev, founder of Cherkizovo Group, Sergey Mikhailov, Cherkizovo Group's CEO, His Excellency Ignacio Ibanez Rubio, Spain's Ambassador to Russia, and other officials.
Cherkizovo Group, Russia's largest meat producer, is one of the companies forming the backbone of the national economy. It employs over 23,000 people and supplies millions of Russians with high-quality food. With meat processing as one of its top priorities, the Company is constantly making significant investments in capacity expansion and maintaining a focus on innovation. The ultra-modern fully automated smoked sausage plant in Kashira (Moscow Region) is a perfect example of that approach.
"The project went through a lot of modifications to finally materialise in this plant," Igor Babaev, founder of Cherkizovo Group, said. "Today we see here a powerful production facility that has no equals globally and inspires a sense of national pride. With nearly one million tonnes of meat produced last year, we are the leading player in Russia's meat industry. Now we are seeking to process the produced meat at large-scale manufacturing facilities similar to the one we built in Kashira. Our ultimate goal is to boost meat exports so that Russia could once again claim its traditional role of the world's major food supplier. In the near term, we are planning significant investments to transfer all of our meat processing facilities from Moscow to the Moscow Region. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Moscow Region's Governor and his team, as this ambitious project would not have been delivered in such a short time without their support."
The uniqueness of the plant is not limited to it being the world's largest production facility of its kind. The use of cutting-edge technologies and unprecedented level of automation are no less striking. The production chain is supported by robots with no human input. The plant has fully embraced the industry 4.0 philosophy, with a fine-tuned system of AI and robotic interactions ensuring control over the entire production cycle. The facility uses the latest version of ERP software – SAP S4\HANA, which offers full automation of production, financial, procurement, planning and sales activities, and is maintained by a dedicated team of IT professionals and engineers. The plant's total headcount stands at 170 people. The facility employs technologies and equipment from Italy, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Czech Republic, the UK and Switzerland, which makes it a major international project in its own right.
"I avail myself of this opportunity to wish Cherkizovo Group further accomplishments," Andrey Vorobyev, Governor of the Moscow Region, said. "I hope that your operations in the Moscow Region will prove to be a success. On behalf of both municipal and regional authorities, I would like to reiterate our support for new investments and production facilities in the region and express appreciation for the upcoming cycle of plant-related investments in the Kashira Municipal District. We have developed an ambitious programme to support the Group in terms of infrastructure and land allocation and hope that it will help Cherkizovo create new well-paid jobs in the region. IT engineers and tech-savvy professionals are already in high demand here. We are pleased to see the Moscow Region chosen as a place to spearhead high-tech development in Russia. So I am taking this opportunity to congratulate all those people who contributed to the construction of this state-of-the-art production facility and had the courage to prove that the agricultural industry can be highly competitive as long as it invests in new technologies".
The new plant is expected to produce up to 30,000 tonnes of finished products per annum. The project’s CAPEX already stands at around RUB 7 billion. With the facility put into operation, Cherkizovo Group will account for 30% of all smoked sausage produced domestically. Reliance on innovations will further strengthen Cherkizovo's competitive edge (including on global markets), enhance compliance with biosafety standards, improve the quality of products and blaze the trail for upgrades in the Russian agricultural industry.