Polish insect-protein producer ramps up capacity for pet food

Plus, Ukraine's Kormotech expands into Romania and Denmark's BHJ acquires an Australian pet food maker.

HiProMine is investing in its production capacities to become a leading protein supplier to the European pet food industry.
HiProMine is investing in its production capacities to become a leading protein supplier to the European pet food industry.

Polish insect-based protein producer HiProMine has completed the construction of the second phase of its new Genetic Center and launched its facility. The development comes as the business is readying to initiate industrial-scale production activities. 

Focused on insect breeding and genetics, the center is based in Robakowo in western Poland. HiProMine is building up its capacities to become a leading protein supplier to the European pet food industry, according to senior company representatives.

“I am very pleased to announce that our Genetic Center is in full swing," Michał Pokorski, the company’s chief executive, was quoted by local news site Inwestycje.pl.  "This is an extremely important milestone in the company's development. It will be the largest and most modern Genetic Center for Hermetia illucens reproduction and breeding in Europe. Owing to the launch of the first phase [of this investment], our production capacity increased approximately 20-fold.”

Pokorski said the coming months will facilitate a major increase in the company’s capacities.

“Our potential will increase to a similar extent owing to the launch of the second phase of the Genetic Center," he said. "Currently, our results are seven to eight times better than after the first stage. We are already prepared to provide 100% of the input material for the factory operating at full capacity, which we plan to achieve within six months of starting production."

Ukraine’s Kormotech expands revenues, expands in Romania

Ukrainian producer Kormotech has announced its revenues grew to about US$152 million last year, exceeding the company’s plan by around $2 million, generated from some 42 countries across the world.

“Looking back at the 2023 milestones, they demonstrate not only the achievement of the goals set out in the strategy, but also the growth of the planned parameters and an above-average pace of change," Rostyslav Vovk, the company’s chief executive and co-owner, told Petfood Industry. "With annual revenue growth of over 22% compared to the 2022 result, we are becoming more innovative and flexible in the context of uncertainty.

“An important result of 2023 initiatives is the status of a major investor in Lithuania granted to Kormotech UAB for the production expansion project announced to be completed by 2028," Vovk continued. "The total planned investment amount is €60 million (US$65 million)."

While Ukraine remains the company's main market, capturing 69% of Kormotech's output, numerous European countries continue to increase their share of the producer's sales volume.

As part of its international expansion drive, owing to which exports represented 31% of its total revenues for 2023, Kormotech is increasing its foothold in neighboring Romania. The business has established cooperation with Sezamo, the first Romanian online supermarket to sell its products.

Some of the company’s most prospective markets include Romania, Poland and Moldova, where its sales volume in 2023 increased by 35%, 11% and 11% year-on-year, respectively, the business said in a statement.

Kormotech says its growth strategy foresees developing traditional distribution channels in parallel to e-commerce. This is to allow the producer to achieve a 10% market share of Romania’s pet food market by 2028.

Because of “the Sezamo platform, our clients in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, can receive products of the brands Club 4 Paws and Optimeal with home delivery in just two hours,” Nadia Cherevatenko, the Ukrainian company’s e-commerce manager for the Romanian market, was quoted in the statement.

Denmark’s BHJ acquires Australian pet food maker

Denmark-based company BHJ, which supplies meat and fish raw materials for the food and pet food sectors, has secured Australian pet food producer Staughton Group through an auction.

Located in Albury in Australia’s New South Wales state, Staughton Group owns Cool Off, a raw pet food brand, and Murray River Pet Food, a producer of dry foods sold under its own brand, but also under private labels, local daily the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported.

The deal is worth US$100 million. Set up in 1969, BHJ is a subsidiary of The Lauridsen Group, a U.S. business. The company currently runs processing facilities and offices in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

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