WHAT WERE THE MAIN REASONS FOR BUILDING A NEW TURKEY PROCESSING PLANT?
“The market in Russia for turkey was developing well and commercial priorities had changed a lot. So we decided we needed to do something completely new to maintain and improve our position in the market. We realized that reconstruction of the existing line would be quite challenging, as we wanted to keep producing and fulfilling orders. So we decided to build a new plant.”
WHAT CHANGES IN THE RUSSIAN MARKET DID YOU NOTICE?
“Russian retailers started asking for fixed-weight products. This really affects the entire secondary processing in terms of weighing, batching, grading and slicing. To fulfill the various orders we would be receiving, we needed more lines with more flexibility, which was only feasible in a new plant.“
WHY DID YOU OPT FOR MAREL?
“We needed more automated solutions. Choosing Marel ,was based on our desire to have one contractor for all processes, primary, chilling, secondary, etc. Furthermore, labeling and the software connection to production was very important. In our first plant, we did it all by ourselves, but that needed to be improved. Marel could solve these issues too.”
HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE YOUR PROCESSING?
“We have two different shifts: slaughtering, killing and cooling takes place overnight from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM. The cut-up area starts work at 8:00 AM and ends at 8:00 PM. Because retailers have a very specific timing for ordering and delivery, this schedule was our top priority when designing the plant. We needed to narrow down delivery times as much as possible. We process toms with an average live weight of 22 kg and hens with 11 kg weight. Toms and hens are processed separately, both at the same line speed of 3,000 tph.”
WHY DO YOU HAVE DEDICATED NECK PROCESSING?
“Turkey necks are popular with Russian consumers. Neck products might not be eaten elsewhere, but if you know how to cook them, they form quite an interesting meal. They can be oven baked or roasted, with garlic. They taste like oxtail, quite simply a delicious meal! Bone-in turkey neck is an ingredient in a popular Russian soup. Neck meat is also ideally suited for further processing into burgers, nuggets and other fast food products. To chill necks, we have invested in a dedicated immersion chilling concept and are looking at further neck deboning systems.”
HOW POPULAR ARE TURKEY GIBLETS?
“Giblets, hearts, gizzards and livers are common products for Russian customers, mostly cooked at home. We sell pretty much all of them. They are weighed and batched in a Marel MultiHead Weigher and then tray sealed. The packages look exactly the same as our other products using the same trays and labels.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS SOFTWARE FOR YOUR PROCESS?
“We have two control rooms on the second floor of our plant, driven by Marel Innova production control software. One supervises primary processing from GP live bird handling up to the maturation tunnel. The other manages secondary processing and lets us choose the birds we need to get from the chilling tunnel to satisfy current orders. With Innova, fine-tuning our line, controlling our process and our overall database will be much more straightforward than before when we were using different suppliers. Now we can manage the entire process, from start to finish and can monitor everything on one single software platform.”