The fine dining establishments of Knightsbridge and the Champs Elysees may soon be serving their well-to-do customers Ukrainian chicken. Backed by a $50 million IFC loan, Ukraine’s leading poultry producer is set to expand into European markets, and perhaps beyond.
IFC is supporting the expansion of long-time client Myronivskiy Hliboproduct, or MHP, while helping the fast-growing company build the greenest farming operation in the country. "When I started my poultry business back in the 1990s, there was practically no market in the country for our fresh chickens,” says Yuri Kosyuk, MHP founder and chairman.
“After my study tours abroad I understood that Ukraine should not be importing poultry but exporting,” he explains. “With IFC’s support, over the years we have been able to build up the sector, create thousands of jobs, and set an example of modern, state-of-the-art food production."
In 2003, MHP become IFC’s first client in Ukraine’s agribusiness sector when IFC supported its plans to pioneer chilled poultry production with a $30 million loan. Over the past decade, the relationship has evolved as MHP has emerged as an industry giant that now controls about half the chicken market in a country of 46 million people.
With chicken consumption on the rise, along with chicken prices, MHP’s net profits hit $311 million in 2012, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. IFC’s latest loan will fund the opening of a new plant with an annual capacity of 440,000 tons of poultry in the central region of Vinnytsya.
IFC will also advise the company on resource efficiency and certifying its farms to Good Agricultural Practice (Global G.A.P.), both of which are likely to inspire more environmentally-friendly farming operations in Ukraine.
Over 80 percent of MHP’s chicken sales are domestic, but the company is expanding internationally. In 2012, MHP exports increased by 65 percent to 58,000 tons. Kosyuk wants exports grow further. Fortunately, the doors to Europe have just opened, and MHP is poised to become the first Ukrainian poultry producer to tap European markets.
What’s more, the company has halal-certified some of its production facilities and is eyeing markets in the Middle East.
Published April 2013. For more information, please contact Olena Harmash, EMENA/Communications Practice Group.