We have the capacity to feed Romania and half of Europe with pork
Sorin Minea, Romalimenta: We have the capacity to feed Romania and half of Europe.
Sorin Minea, president of the Romanian Employers` Federation in the Food Industry (Romalimenta), and president of Angst, one of the most important delicatessen producers, is of opinion that Romania has the capacity to meet half of the pork needs in Europe, but must to focus on eradicating the African swine fever virus, so that the local slaughterhouses and factories work at full capacity.
”The existing slaughterhouses and licensed factories can process, at full capacity, 4-5 times the Romanian meat production, we could feed the whole Romania and half of Europe, yet we only produce 30% of the pork for consumption in Romania (…) We must eradicate the swine fever, it hinders the development”, says Sorin Minea.
In 2019, the last year with data available, Romania raised 3.9 million pigs, but only 289.000 tons of meat came from the Romanian bred and raised pigs, according to data provided by the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture. The main pork supplier for Romania is Germany, and in 2019 the imported meat volume was 52.200 tons, amounting to 114 million euro.
Currently, Romania has 185 licensed slaughterhouses, according to data from the National Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) and the Ministry of Agriculture. Their capacity is unknown.
Besides the African swine fever epidemic, Mines also indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the producers, the milk and meat prices being very low for producers. Angst group, with Romanian-Swiss shareholders, produces meat products in Buftea, but also has a production unit for dry-cured meat products – Salsi – in Sinaia, as well as a dairy factory – Swissland – in Mereni.
”The consumption is diminished now, and the milk and meat prices are very low; we no longer think about losses, we can`t consider salary raises for next year, we have cut stuff, reduced the investments budget, and we, the Romanian companies, ran out of money. HoReCa used to be 20% of our sales”, said Sorin Minea.
He says that 2021 begins with many uncertainties.
Angst Ro SRL, the largest company in the group, had a turnover of 101 million lei in 2019, slightly higher compared to the previous year, but has now incurred losses amounting to a net of 1.9 million lei, public data indicate.