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First egg melange plant opens in Latvia

  • 2000-12-21
  • TBT staff
RIGA - Balticovo, Latvia's largest producer of eggs, unveiled the country's first egg melange production facility Dec. 12. Investing nearly 1 million lats ($1.6 million) in the venture, Balticovo hopes to "stabilize its role in the Baltic market and increase its competitiveness in the European market," according to a company press statement.

"We decided to begin the production of egg melange, as EU legislation states that food processing enterprises must use only processed eggs," Balticovo's director general Valdis Grimze told reporters.

According to the various surveys, the use of egg melange is increasing in Latvia every year. Until now, egg melange has been imported from the countries of the EU or from Estonia.

This year, a total of 1,105 million lats have been invested in the company, including 935,000 lats spent on egg melange production technology.

The melange, which Balticovo only started producing this month, is expected to make up 5 percent of total sales next year. Balticovo expects its annual turnover in 2001 to reach some 8.5 million lats ($13.7 million), Grimze said.

In 2001, the management plans to invest 1.4 million lats in the company, mainly to purchase fowl breeding equipment and feed production facilities.

In the first 11 months of this year, Balticovo earned a profit of 458,000 lats on a turnover of 7,406 million lats. In 1999, the company's profit was 93,000 lats on a net turnover of 7.148 million lats.

According to Grimze, Balticovo's annual turnover may reach some 8.2 million lats this year. The company hopes to have sold a total of 220 million eggs in 2000, and intends to sell at least as many eggs next year.

Balticovo exports 20 percent of its output to Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic, and the rest is sold in Latvia. The company's share of the local market is 61 percent.

Alongside eggs and egg products, Balticovo also offers chicken meat, live chickens and cattle feed.