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Smithfield Romania: moderate growthUpdated: 25-03-2010 | Business

Smithfield Romania, a subsidiary of the US pork giant, is counting on a moderate growth for 2010, the German agricultural magazine Top Agrar reports. Bogdan Mihail, Smithfield Romania's general manager, told the Bucarest information service zr.ro that investments are currently being reconsidered. "In principle, opportunities on the Romanian meat market are not bad", Mihail added, referring to the large meat shortage of domestic production.

He said that 70% of the livestock producers depend on raw material imports. For 2010, a revenue growth is expected of 10%. Last year, revenue grew 30% to Euro112 million. In 2007 and 2008, however, saw losses in millions of euros.

Mihail said that Smithfield will increase its production and processing capacities by 10% even in this year. The company, having a slaughter capacity of 600 pigs/hour and 950 employees as the "largest slaughterhouse of Romania".

In the construction of new finishing facilities in the West Romanian region of Timis EU money will also be used. Last year, the company invested 18 million in new fattening facilities and Euro22 million in 12 piglet growing facilities.

Smithfield Romania is now at 47 pig production locations. In total, the amount of sows is over 50,000 and 850,000 pigs. In addition, the company has two feed mills. Reducing the animosity of the local population against the US meat giant, a "Corporate Identity" politics is being used, Mihail said. Themes like food safety, environmental care, and claims from local authorities are key in this process.

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