HatchTech Ukraine: delivering animal-friendly innovation in challenging times
The company has continued to do business in Ukraine throughout 2022 and salutes all its Ukrainian employees for their inspiring efforts up to this point. They have kept the flag flying in the face of enormous challenges, and they should be extremely proud of everything they’ve achieved!
HatchTech Group is a supplier of incubators and other components for chick hatcheries worldwide. Founded in 1996 in Veenendaal, the Netherlands, the company focuses on scientific solutions that make the chick hatching and early-life stages as animal-friendly, yet productive, as possible. HatchTech delivers projects on a global scale, shipping individual components then working with the customer to build a fully operational hatchery on site.
Innovations developed by HatchTech include HatchCare, an incubator that gives newly hatched chicks direct access to water and feed, as well as transport systems for chicks and hatching technologies that help plants grow more efficiently and uniformly. Many of these innovations have been made possible by the outstanding contributions of HatchTech’s Ukrainian colleagues.
How Ukraine became a core HatchTech location
HatchTech’s connection with Ukraine is almost as old as the company itself. The current CEO of HatchTech’s Ukrainian operations, Yuriy Shutovsky, started working for the company in the late 1990s. In the years since, he has supervised the delivery of hundreds of projects in countries such as South Korea, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Meanwhile, during its early years, HatchTech continued to search for appropriate, low-cost manufacturing solutions. In 2008, the company shifted its European sourcing to China. However, once prices began to rise in 2015, and considering the complexity of producing its technology, HatchTech decided to shift more of its component manufacturing operations in house.
Ukraine was soon identified as a promising location, due to the country’s strong pool of technical talent, land and well-developed infrastructure. HatchTech Ukraine was established in 2015, with a facility located in Baryshevka, about 40 kilometers east of Kyiv. It was initially quite a small operation: the facility produced a few items, but most of the staff spent their time working on construction projects at customer sites around the world.
However, it soon became clear that Ukraine offered huge possibilities for high-tech manufacturing, so HatchTech kept investing in the country as local employees continued to build the company. Today, HatchTech Ukraine employs more than 100 people, and almost 70% of the company’s entire product range is produced in Ukraine, including complete control cabinets, water systems, doors and transportation systems known as HatchTravellers.
The impact of invasion
24 February 2022 was a black day for HatchTech Ukraine and for the whole country. Since then, the whole HatchTech Group has been anxious about what the future holds, and there is deep concern for the safety of everyone affected by the invasion.
The darkest moments came in March, when it looked like Kyiv might be taken by Russian forces. Fortunately, because of the rapid defence of Ukraine, the region is now free of occupation. Therefore HatchTech has been able to maintain its production in Ukraine and continues to offer its people employment during an extremely challenging time.
The invasion has prevented HatchTech Ukraine from accessing air travel or container transport. Yet the company has continued to do business throughout 2022, and its logistics services are still functioning adequately. Considering the circumstances, this is a truly miraculous achievement.
The future of HatchTech Ukraine
HatchTech continues to see a future for production in Ukraine, which has the right combination of resources to suit its manufacturing operations. In fact, HatchTech is considering manufacturing some parts of another of its flagship products, the circuit, in the country. This advanced system is developed for Respeggt, another 100% daughter company of HatchTech Group. The circuit detects male chick embryos during the incubation process and turns them into animal feed, eliminating the need for the conventional practice of hatching and destroying male chicks.
HatchTech’s Ukrainian facility has the capabilities to manufacture this highly complex product, and to keep supporting the success of the company as a whole. HatchTech Group is set to open new corporate headquarters in Ede, the Netherlands, on 1 January 2023. The creativity, loyalty and diligence of HatchTech’s Ukrainian colleagues have contributed significantly to the company-wide expansion that made this possible.
HatchTech expects these contributions to continue throughout the coming years, and the company salutes all its Ukrainian employees for their inspiring efforts up to this point. They have kept the flag flying in the face of enormous challenges, and they should be extremely proud of everything they’ve achieved!