Animal feed, pig producers flock to Russian province

Voronezh oblast, Russia, is where international animal nutrition group Nutreco has decided to build a new factory to make feed premixes and starter diets for young animals. The plant represents an investment of about 20 million Euros by the Netherlands-based group and is due to start production by the middle of 2012.

Few people outside Russia would be able to identify the location and natural assets of the Russian province Voronezh oblast or Voronezhskaya, but the chances are that you will be hearing a lot more about this area of the world in the coming few years.

More recently, Voronezhskaya also has been chosen by meat group Tönnies of Germany as the site for pig production and processing facilities backed by their own feed mill. The plans aim for an output of approximately 2.5 million pigs per year and the German company will reportedly invest up to 300 million Euros.

Why Voronezhskaya? The short answer is that it has the land and the feed resources. Known locally as the region of the black soil, it is regarded as Russia’s principal breadbasket because of the quantity of wheat grown there.

Global cereals trading giants such a Bunge have a presence in the province with grain terminals and oilseed processing facilities. Major rivers provide good transport links that additionally include reasonable road systems to back Voronezh’s industries in minerals, electronics and engineering.

The province itself is situated in the southwest of Russia, close to the border with Ukraine, which means it is a neighbour of the Lipetskaya oblast where several headline-making pig projects have already been established. Voronezhskaya itself is no stranger to the pig meat business as it boasts a long history of livestock production alongside its crop fields. To judge from the recent headlines, a major modern pig industry is appearing there as well.