Customer story

Agricola Bacau: Over 20 Years of ‘Partners in Technology’

15 Oct 2013

Agricola Bacau building

Although the economic situation is still difficult and customers are not always able to automate radically, the Romanian company Agricola Bacau manages to grow strongly. With a clear vision based on strong values, Agricola Bacau has a tradition of introducing new high quality products to the market. The inventor of the ‘chicken with the four legs’ celebrated its 20th anniversary and is now ready for the next step.

Agricola Bacau (based in Bacau in North Eastern Romania) is a completely integrated company active in red meat processing and poultry processing – from feed mill, hatcheries, to breeders, slaughtering, further processing, logistics and a chain of shops. The company controls the whole value chain. Since its foundation in 1992, ‘quality’ is one of the Company’s main brand values.

Our companies have been working together for many years now. You can say that Marel Stork is part of our success. Together we are partners in technology.
Grigore Horoi – President of Agricola.

Choosing quality

Agricola Bacau

More than 85% of the Company’s poultry production consists of high quality fresh products: whole broilers (less than 20%), cut up and deboned products and further processed products. Mr. Grigore Horoi, President of the Group, says: “Agricola always goes for the highest quality, whether it is our products or our people, processes and equipment. Because we process to a high quality standard, our products have a shelf life of up to ten days.”

Innovative products made by an innovative company

It is also second nature to Agricola to keep looking for exciting new possibilities, chances of offering consumers new products. Mr. Horoi continues: “We are convinced that introducing new products offers us the best possibilities for growth. In general, margins are very small and we need to look for new ways to trigger consumers.

We are making the transition from a commodity product ‘chicken’ to a wide variety of value added products which directly target consumers, let’s say the Romanian family.”

Chicken with four legs

Ms. Tatiana Cimpoeşu - Vice President and Business Line Manager Poultry, explains: “Over the years we have introduced several successful products. We are very close to the market and always try to set trends, based on international developments and our own creativity.

An example is the ‘Family Chicken’ that we introduced some years ago: it’s a chicken with four legs, one package with a complete broiler and two extra legs, perfect for the average Romanian family. Everyone gets a leg and still there is enough meat left for another dish.”

Stress free chicken

Another Agricola product is the ‘Stress Free Chicken’. Ms. Cimpoeşu continues: “We saw that many consumers wanted to spend less time on preparing a good meal. With the stress free chicken we offer them the possibility of preparing a healthy meal with fresh high quality ingredients in less time. The griller is cooked directly in the specially designed aluminum tray.”

Happy chicken

Agricola Bacau poultry products

An interesting concept Agricola also introduced is the ‘Happy Chicken’. This is a corn fed, slow growing broiler (70 days), raised in rural areas on small farms.
It’s a tasty all-Romanian success story. “Our Happy Chicken was voted the best new product by the industry and consumers. I think it also won because it is more than a product. It’s an aspiration, a feeling that we give to people who strive every day to offer the best to their loved ones. It is an inspiration for us to keep innovating, to differentiate the products we offer, to be innovative.”

Further processing

Agricola is national market leader in further processed products. Besides raw dried salami the Company offers a wide variety of convenience, coated products such as schnitzels, chicken burgers, wings, fingers, nuggets etc., made from its own high quality broiler meat and produced on a complete production line from Townsend Further Processing, which includes the Townsend RevoPortioner. Here Agricola also sees chances. Production will rise over the next few years.

Mr. Grigore Horoi continues: “We now want to create a new line of all-Romanian healthy convenience products. We always follow developments and try to set trends. We interview consumers and promote products in supermarkets. Of course we must look for a healthy balance between margins and quality, but we are convinced that our quality products will be successful again.”

Agricola has almost 20% of the total chicken meat market in Romania. The Company is the market leader with its pre-cooked and ready-meal type products. With a production capacity of 8,000 bph (133 bpm) it processes around 430.000 broilers per week. In 2013 production will reach about 35,200 tons of slaughtered meat, with growth to 40,000 tons expected in 2015. Agricola has around 60 outlets in Romania, a number they plan to double in a few years. When it comes to exporting, Agricola has various large retailers among their customers. The company exports to The United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, France, Greece, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

Partners in technology

In 2012 Agricola Bacau celebrated its 20th Anniversary, a perfect moment to present their new corporate identity and logo. Among the many guests were Area Sales Manager Ruud Berkers from Marel Stork Poultry Processing and Cristian Ciornei from Riva (local representative for Marel Stork).

Their presence confirmed the long lasting relation between Marel Stork /Riva and Agricola. Mr. Horoi: “Our companies have been working together for many years now. You can say that Marel Stork is part of our success. We appreciate their high quality know-how, their poultry processing solutions and the simple fact that they are pleasant open minded people. Together we are partners in technology.”

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