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UK Meat Firms Cash in on High Demand

by 5m Editor
12 April 2011, at 12:01pm

THAILAND - Two UK-based companies in the livestock and feed industries are eyeing increased sales in Thailand, seeing the potential for economic growth to stimulate demand for meat, according to ACMC.

They share the view that Thailand has high potential to become a major market, as the country has high domestic demand as well as a livestock export industry that is growing significantly every year.

According to The Nation during VIV Asia 2011 showcase of industry's development for feed and meat, Stephen Curtis, executive chairman of ACMC, a pig-breeding company from the UK, said steady economic growth had increased demand for pork and poultry in the Thai market.

Moreover, with a rising middle class, consumers will focus more on quality meat. Mr Curtis said his company could offer quality pig breeds to Thai farmers.

Growth in emerging markets in East Asia, particularly China, will also increase demand for meat.

ACMC can provide pigs with characteristics that add value for commercial farm producers. To increase sales in Thailand, the firm is negotiating with leading Thai pork producers and farmers to import its pig breeds, said Mr Curtis.

Sales volume to the Thai market is currently quite small, just a few thousand tonnes a year. But Mr Curtis expects expansion in the near future.

The company's Meidam breed, a cross with GP Large Whites, produce large piglets with less fat and more meat at birth, so farmers have to spend less on feed to produce saleable slaughter pigs.

Also, ACMC has improved the slaughter-pig feed conversion of the Vantage breed.

The company selected boars by measuring their feed intake over the growing period, with only the most efficient ones chosen for breeding.

Both breeds are designed to increase pig producer margins and increase farmers' income, said Curtis.

Meanwhile Tithebarn, a producer of livestock feeding supplements, also hopes to raise sales in Thailand after exporting 400 tonnes to the country last year.

Jeremy Sample, sales director of the company, said the firm expected to increase sales by at least 10 per cent to Thailand.

"Sales volume in Thailand, Asean and East Asian markets like China is expected to grow rapidly following steady economic growth in the region," he said. Currently, South Korea is the company's largest export market in Asia.

The firm expects sales volume in other countries in Asia, in particular China and Thailand, to grow to reach levels in South Korea as demand for meat grows.

Tithebarn has been selling its mineralised salt blocks - "Rockies" - to Thailand for more than 20 years. Its main distributor is Phillips International. Over the years, the business has grown from just a few containers per year to an annual average of 300 tonnes.

Rockies are highly compressed blocks made from major minerals and trace elements.

They are resistant to damp and wet weather conditions, which makes them ideal in the humid climate of Thailand.

Livestock lick the blocks, enabling them to get a regular supply of essential nutrients.

The company claims that correctly used, Rockies bring improved appetites, better digestion of feed, faster growth, improved milk yields and enhanced fertility.