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Damate drives up Russian turkey production

To expand sales to its overseas division, Russia’s largest turkey producer, Damate, has opened up the export of turkey products to Western Africa.

Damate has already exported 100 tonnes of turkey sausages under a the Salima brand to Ghana, Liberia, and Benin, the Russian magazine Agroinvestor reports.

Damate exports turkey to 31 countries, including China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the EU. The company intends to ramp up export supplies to Africa. Photo: Hans Prinsen
Damate exports turkey to 31 countries, including China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the EU. The company intends to ramp up export supplies to Africa. Photo: Hans Prinsen

This is a step forward in the company’s export diversification campaign. Previously, Damate was primarily focused on exporting frozen turkey to Africa. In the first half of 2021, these supplies totaled 3,500 tonnes for 500 million roubles (US$ 6.5 million).

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Rashed Khairov, general director of Damate, said that turkey enjoys strong demand in Africa. Still, there was a lack of advanced processed products on the local market. No turkey sausages were available there so far.

Ramping up exports

Damate exports turkey to 31 countries, including China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the EU. The company intends to ramp up exports to Africa, targeting primarily subequatorial and northern parts of the continent. Currently, Damate is working on obtaining necessary permits to launch sales to new countries, the company said.

Europe’s largest turkey processing plant

The recent export growth is associated with the start of production of Damate’s new plant of advanced turkey processing in Penza Oblast for 9 billion roubles (US$ 120 million). The designed production performance is 303 tonnes per day.

The facility is said to be Europe’s largest plant of advanced turkey processing. The plant has a high level of automation and robotics, the company said. “The production capacity of the plant will allow us to meet the growing demand for turkey sausage products in the country and also to significantly increase the export share by expanding sales of high-margin products of advanced processing,” said Naum Babayev, chairman of Damate.

Russia’s climbing in the global ranking

In 2020, Russia increased turkey production by 20% compared to the previous year to 330,000 tonnes, becoming the world’s fourth-largest turkey producer, the Russian consulting agency Agrifood Strategies estimated.

If all goes well, the production level is expected to reach 400,000 tonnes this year, pushing the country to third place in the global ranking. “Consolidating efforts in the industry would secure additional growth and let the country become the world’s second-largest turkey producer in the next 2-3 years, ahead of Poland, Germany, France, and other historical leaders,” Agrifood Strategies said.